McIlroy hails PGA Tour's new-look plan as 'compelling product'
Rory McIlroy hails the PGA Tour's new-look structure as a "compelling product."
The PGA Tour unveiled its new-look structure for the 2024 season featuring eight "designated events" with elite fields, no cut and increased prize money hailed by Rory McIlroy as producing a "compelling product."
The move follows discussions between the tour and top players such as McIlroy and Tiger Woods in the wake of the emergence of the LIV Golf tour.
"These smaller, designated event fields will not only deliver substantial, can't-miss tournaments to our fans at important intervals throughout the season, but they will also enhance the quality of full-field events," PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a memo to tour members.
"Together, this approach provides a schedule that is cohesive, compelling, consequential and with clarity for fans, players and sponsors alike," he added.
Fields will be restricted to 70-78 players drawn from the top ranked on the previous year's tour points list along with those in the best form in that year's campaign.
Although no decision has been taken on what tournaments will be in the new format, all will be without a cut after 36 holes, meaning the players will compete on all four days.
The changes will not impact the majors, the Players Championships or the FedExCup playoff events.
The top 50 players from the previous season's points list will qualify for the events along with another 10 players from the current season's list and the current season's tournament winners.
Unsurprisingly McIlroy, who has championed the PGA Tour in the face of defections to LIV Golf, gave his full backing to the changes.
"I love it. Obviously I've been a part of it and been in a ton of discussions," he said ahead of Thursday's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando.
"I think it makes the tour more competitive... I'm all about rewarding good play...I want to give everyone a fair shake at this, which I think this structure has done. There's ways to play into it," he said.
McIlroy said the aim had been to ensure that in-form players had a chance to take on the established elite.
"It's trying to get the top guys versus the hot guys, right? I think that creates a really compelling product. But a way that you don't have to wait an entire year for your good play to then get the opportunity. That opportunity presents itself straight away," he said.
"You play well for two or three weeks, you're in a designated event. You know then if you keep playing well you stay in them.
"At the end of the day we're selling a product to people. The more clarity they have on that product and knowing what they're buying is really important. It's really important for the tour. I think this solves for that," he said.