PGA Tour announces plan to help players, caddies through suspended season
PGA Tour players and caddies will have a chance to receive a paycheck during the coronavirus hiatus, which is still expected to end in the middle of May, the Tour commissioner said Saturday.
Players inside and outside of the top 150 of the current FedEx Cup standings will be paid differently, Jay Monahan said in a video sent to players on Saturday and obtained by GOLF.com. For players in the top 150, the Tour will reduce its deferred allocation of the players’ projected season-ending bonuses and provide a cash advance. The advance will have a cap of $100,000.
Players outside of the top 150 will have four opportunities to receive money — advance pay on future Monday pro-ams; an advance on future earnings; player retirement plan financial hardship distribution; and distribution from the PGA Tour charitable and education benevolent fund.
Caddies, Monahan said, can be paid through a distribution of $250,000 from the Valspar Caddie Hat program, and an increase of the balances available for caddies under the caddie benevolent fund.
Monahan said the plan was supported by the PGA Tour’s policy board and player advisory council.
“We feel that these steps are prudent and appropriate for our membership at this time,” Monahan said. “Essentially, it allows us to help those who need assistance, but remain under the guidelines and constraints of our 501 (c)(6) tax status.
“With that said, I’d ask that each of you handle this news of the player financial program in a thoughtful and respectful manner. It probably goes without saying, but there’s a great deal of hurt in the world right now. People are losing their jobs, people are sick, people are burying their loved ones. We want to take care of our membership, of course, but we want to be cognizant of the broader hardships being faced by communities around the globe.”
The move comes in light of events being postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic. To date, the PGA Tour has canceled events through the middle of May, Augusta National Golf Club has postponed the Masters and the PGA of America has postponed the PGA Championship. In addition, the U.S. Open in June is likely to be postponed, the New York Post has reported.
In the video, Monahan said the Tour’s plan is to still resume play the week of May 18 with the Charles Schwab Challenge, the first event after the PGA Championship. He said there will be more specifics next week.
“To ensure we put forth the best schedule possible, we are in daily dialogue with all of our industry partners,” Monahan said. “Our goal is to deliver the best cadence of events for our members, of course, but also for our fans around the world and to do so in a thoughtful, unified fashion.”
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