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PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan admitted Wednesday it would be unable to compete with LIV Golf when it comes to finances.
Monahan’s comments came as Brooks Koepka and Abraham Ancer became the latest golfers to sign on with LIV Golf.
“I am not naïve. If this is an arms race and if the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA Tour can’t compete. The PGA Tour, an American institution, can’t compete with a foreign monarchy that is spending billions of dollars in attempt to buy the game of golf,” Monahan said.
“We welcome good, healthy competition. The LIV Saudi golf league is not that. It’s an irrational threat, one not concerned with the return on investment or true growth of the game.”
But it’s not for lack of trying.
Monahan said an increase in prize money was in the works from its latest media rights deal in 2020, noting that the threat of LIV Golf accelerated some of those plans. He announced a streamlined schedule — January to August starting in 2024 — with seven tournaments worth $20 million or more and fewer spots available for its postseason.
The fall would be for the players who finished outside the top 70 to secure cards for the following year, and to give them a chance to move into the top 50 — to secure sports in some of the elite $20 million tournaments.
Monahan cited Scottie Scheffler’s success this season as golfers leave the PGA Tour for better financial opportunities. Scheffler didn’t win a tournament until February but has set a PGA Tour record for most earnings in a single season with nearly $13 million.
“If you’re good enough, you will rise to the top,” Monahan said. “And if you don’t continue to earn that top spot, someone else as hungry and as talented is right there to take your place. Again, that’s the unique beauty of what the tour has and always will offer to fans.
“It’s damn good and it’s worth fighting for.”
The Travelers Championship is set to take place this weekend with The Open Championship a month away.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.