The PGA Tour is set to reveal the remaining tournaments that will receive elevated status next season.
According to a Golfweek report, the four events, to be announced later this week, will be the Waste Management Phoenix Open, RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo Championship and Travelers Championship. Those tournaments will join the three FedExCup Playoffs events, Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Memorial Tournament, WGC-Dell Match Play and Sentry Tournament of Champions, which will all feature $20 million purses (TOC, at $15 million, is the exception) in 2023 and be mandatory starts for the top 20 players in the Tour’s $100 million Player Impact Program.
Back in August, the Tour revealed sweeping changes as it looks to dissuade its best players from bolting for the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit. Among those changes was requiring those top members to tee it up in 20 total tournaments (if eligible), including the four majors, Players Championship, 12 elevated events and three more tournaments of a player’s choosing.
Per the new PIP requirements, these four elevated additions will ensure that the Tour’s best meet a minimum of 17 times and at least twice each month from February to June, including three times each in March and June.
“Well, until I get an official statement from the PGA Tour, I won’t be able to 100% believe it,” Jon Rahm said Tuesday at the CJ Cup. “Now, it could be true. If it is, we’ll deal with it. I mean, it is what it is.”
Rahm, who has been somewhat outspoken about the 20-event rule since the Tour announced it, was also made aware that two of next year’s adds, the RBC Heritage and Travelers, each fall one week after a major on the calendar. The Heritage, which follows the Masters, may be a short drive from Augusta National, but the Travelers, played in Cromwell, Connecticut, will come directly after the U.S. Open in Los Angeles.
“Sometimes when the schedule is set and you have to go play makes things easier at least in my mind,” Rahm said. “Oh, you have to play these events and then you organize the rest, which there’s a simplicity to it in that sense. Plus, you’re elevating great events. They’re all amazing golf courses, all amazing events, a lot of history, all of them. So, they’re worthy of it.
“Hilton Head and Travelers after majors? I’m not keen on playing after a major, but I’ve seen people do it and I’ve seen people do well, so there’s no reason why you can’t.”
Jordan Spieth was reminded that Wells Fargo begins a five-week stretch that also includes the PGA Championship, Memorial and both Dallas area events that Spieth typically plays, the AT&T Byron Nelson and Charles Schwab Challenge.
“It looks like it will just be an extra one in a row,” Spieth said. “You know, if that’s the case, then that does put me and a few other people like Scottie [Scheffler], [Will] Zalatoris, some guys who like playing both the Dallas events in a situation where you’re looking at five in a row, which I’ve done once.
“I don’t particularly like doing more than four in a row, but I love my hometown events. I’ve been playing them really well, as well. Then just played the Presidents Cup well there at Wells Fargo, so with a major in there and then Jack’s event, I think I just maybe – I don’t know what it’s going to look like, but it looks like probably five in a row where I go into Jack’s event on Tuesday night or something like that.”
The four new elevated events aren’t expected to permanently maintain that status, as the Tour reportedly wants to create a rotation and ensure that all sponsors have access to paying for elevated privileges.
“The elevated events won’t be the same in 2024,” one person with knowledge of the Tour’s plans told Golfweek. “These events worked with a schedule that had already been announced.”
It’s unknown what the four elevated additions in 2024, or beyond, will be.