Maybe there is a little wiggle room in the new PGA Tour schedule after all.
According to a PGA Tour memo sent to players last week, which was first reported by the Associated Press, players will be allowed to miss one of the new elevated events this season due to “personal or professional reasons” and still be eligible for Player Impact Program bonuses.
The PGA Tour, as it continues its ongoing battle with LIV Golf, recently tweaked its schedule for this season and beyond, announcing 17 events in the 2022-23 campaign that will have elevated purses and guaranteed appearances.
One of the reasons to create the elevated events was to guarantee golf’s biggest names would be teeing it up at the same tournaments beyond major championship weeks. Players who finished in the top 20 of the PIP last year were originally required to compete in all of them in which they were eligible (as well as three other events), but the Tour’s recent decision gives them the ability to miss one without penalty.
Jon Rahm expressed his concern about the new schedule back at the Tour Championship in August, when some of the details were first announced.
Rahm said it would be difficult for him to keep DP World Tour membership along with his PGA Tour membership.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes, because that puts me in a difficult position having to play — if I go play in Europe in the fall like I’m going to, I have to play from January until August 20 times,” he said. “… So yeah, especially with Ryder Cup and having to play four in Europe, yeah, I think it’s a bit of an ask, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they revise a bit of a rule or make an exception for some players.”
Turns out, they did, albeit a small one.
The Tour recently announced the four other elevated events for this season, making 17 in total. They are the four majors, the Players, three invitationals (Genesis, Arnold Palmer and Memorial), three FedEx Cup Playoffs events, the Sentry Tournament of Champions, WM Phoenix Open, WGC Match Play, RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo Championship and the Travelers.