‘It’s a money grab’: Pro rips PGA Tour Signature Events

Lucas Glover reacts to a putt at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Lucas Glover is no fan of the PGA Tour's new model.

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Lucas Glover doesn’t have to worry about qualifying for the PGA Tour’s Signature Events this season.

But that doesn’t make him a fan of the PGA Tour’s new model.

Speaking with Golfweek at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Glover, a two-time PGA Tour winner last season, laid into the Tour’s series of eight, limited-field, $20 million events.

“I don’t like the idea at all,” he said. “It’s selfish and it’s a money grab.”

The Signature Events started in 2023 as the “designated events” when nine PGA Tour events received elevated purses of $20 million while the PGA Tour’s structure remained the same and the events still had their traditional field sizes.

This year, the concept was tweaked to create eight Signature Events, each with limited fields (no more than 80 players) and elevated FedEx Cup points distributions (700 to the winners, up from 500) in addition to the $20 million purses. The PGA Tour also created new entry categories for these events, giving exemptions to the top 50 players from the last season, as well as categories to reward players in form during the current season.

Glover’s back-to-back wins at the Wyndham Championship and FedEx St. Jude Championship last summer catapulted him safely into the Top 50 to enjoy all eight Signature Events this season.

Lucas Glover
With his PGA Tour season at serious risk, major winner calls format ‘silly’
By: Nick Piastowski

The events were created in the wake of LIV Golf’s launch in 2022 which saw the introduction of big-money, limited-money events on that Tour. But Glover doesn’t feel like these kinds of events are good for the game.

“Nothing that has happened in the last two years in golf, in my opinion, that will help the game,” the six-time PGA Tour winner said. “I’ve yet to figure out what’s so bad out here that we had to do all the things we’ve done.

“I’m 44 and I’m getting towards the get-off-my-lawn dad. I just don’t see what was so bad out here that we had to do all this. Let’s raise some purses to make sure we keep some guys around but now we’ve eliminated a lot of playing opportunities for some really good players.”

Three of the Signature events, including this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, feature a cut to the low 50 players and ties, plus anyone within 10 shots of the lead. That meant just 10 players fell victim to the 36-hole cut this week.

But next week’s Players Championship, the Tour’s so-called “Flagship” event, features a full field of 144 players and a full cut.

“It’s very mind-blowing that our biggest signature event has the most players and the biggest cut,” Glover told Golfweek.

Rory McIlroy and caddie Harry Diamond at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Rory McIlroy’s idea for a more ‘cutthroat’ PGA Tour — he knows it won’t be popular
By: Jack Hirsh

His comments stand in contrast with Rory McIlroy’s this weekend. Both McIlroy and Wyndham Clark agreed this week that the PGA Tour should become even more “cutthroat,” awarding fewer memberships to make it a tour of just the best-performing players.

Much of the future of the global game of professional golf is still very much in flux. The PGA Tour entered into a bombshell framework agreement with LIV’s financial backer, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund on June 6th. But while that deal is still in the negotiation stages and must clear U.S. antitrust regulators, the Tour received an up to $3 billion investment from the Strategic Sports Group, a coalition of major U.S. and global sports owners and investors.

While the PIF deal may or may not ever materialize, Glover joined the growing list of players to opine on what the future may hold for pro golf.

“I think we’re going to end up with 12-16 events around the world with the top players for the most money and wherever that money comes from – who knows whether it’s private equity or PIF – clearly, that’s where it is headed,” he said. “A few of [the PGA Tour’s] big events are probably going to fit into that. You’re looking at eight PGA Tour/DP World Tour-style events around the world, three or four LIV-style events around the world and four majors and you’ll have a Tour of the who’s who. I’m very happy I’m close to being done. That’s how I see it.”

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.