Report: PGA Tour To Introduce Limited Field, No-Cut Events In Response To LIV

Many of the PGA Tour's designated events will reportedly see radical changes in 2024

The PGA Tour flag
Big changes are reportedly coming to many of the PGA Tour's designated events in 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Big changes are reportedly coming to the PGA Tour next year, with many of its designated events to feature far smaller fields of between 70 and 78 players, as well as the removal of the 36-hole cut.

Per Golfweek's Eamon Lynch, the PGA Tour board met on Tuesday night to ratify the move, with only the Majors, The Players Championship and season-ending FedEx Cup Playoffs of the designated events remaining as they are.

The move will likely draw comparisons with the model being employed by the PGA Tour’s bitter rival LIV Golf, which also has limited field, no-cut events. Indeed, the introduction of the designated events for 2023, which guarantees stronger fields and larger purses, came as a direct result of the threat posed by the Saudi-funded circuit.

As to who will automatically qualify for the events, the top 50 players who reach the second of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the BMW Championship, will reportedly gain entry. Beyond that, the top 10 players ineligible on the current FedEx Cup points list would also qualify.

The change to the events will almost certainly raise questions over whether they will become a closed shop, with concerns that only the top players will be able to compete in them. However, a player who wished to remain anonymous told Golfweek that will not be the case, saying: “We want top players and hot players.”

According to the report, one way to ensure other players have a chance of participating in the events will be to distribute them more evenly through the year, with a pattern where three regular events are followed by two designated events and so on. Then, the five players players with the highest cumulative point totals from the three standard events would qualify for the next who designated events. 

Meanwhile, it is also reported that any player who wins a PGA Tour event will qualify for each designated event that season.

Consideration will also reportedly be given to the top 30 of the Official World Golf Ranking in the hope that it will offer a reasonable chance for players returning from injury to qualify. Sponsor exemptions will also still be available, leaving a door open for 15-time Major winner Tiger Woods – who admits he can only play a limited number of tournaments due to his ongoing injury concerns – to participate.

Lee Westwood has already criticised the reported move, and appeared to suggest it's the latest in a range of initiatives that makes the PGA Tour more dominant at the expense of the DP World Tour, despite their strategic alliance. The LIV Golf player wrote on Twitter: "So.. Do away with the WGC’s. Load the OWGR in your favour. Create 10 limited field events for just PGA tour members(like WGC’s). Add to that 4 majors,Players,FedEx cup. That’s a full schedule for a top player. That’s growing the game. What Strategic Alliance?"

According to the report, it is projected that only 60% of players eligible for the events would remain so for the next season. A memo explaining the changes is due to be sent to members imminently.

The report comes days after 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus hinted that next year, the Pebble Beach Pro-Am would be a designated event, in place of the WM Phoenix Open.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.