PGA Tour Players Reportedly Upset With New Format That ‘Caters To The Elite’ Players

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In case you haven’t heard, the world of professional golf has been entirely flipped on its head in the last year.

The creation of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series and the subsequent changes made to the format of the PGA Tour have put golfers in uncharted territories.

The PGA made major modifications in response to the threat of the deep pockets of LIV. Those modifications included changes to both schedule and tournament structure.

The Tour will now host a number of what it’s calling “designated events.” Those events will feature limited (70 or 78 golfer) fields and no cut after 36 holes.

Top golfers such as Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas have lauded the changes. But it appears they don’t sit as well with those who believe they’ll be shut out of the events.

PGA Tour Players Speak Out Against New Format

Dave Shedloski of Golf Digest spoke to a number of current PGA Tour players who expressed their disappointment with the new format.

Tour veteran Ryan Armour, in particular, was most critical.

“I think what bothers me most about this,” Armour said at TPC Sawgrass, “is that we all were in the same [PAC] meeting in San Diego [in January] and there were serious concerns about going forward with this. We talked about the value of full fields, what it means for hospitality, for fans who want to watch golf all day, what the tour experience is all about. And then they went forward with it. If this was such a great idea, we should have done it 20 years ago when Tiger was winning everything. These guys aren’t Tiger Woods. None of them are. The current hierarchy on the tour … what makes this generation of 20- and 30-year-olds so special to benefit the most from this?” – via Golf Digest

While fellow veteran Kevin Streelman also expressed his displeasure.

“The depth out here is astronomically higher than it’s ever been before,” he said. “I firmly believe 120 people in this field could win this week … I’ve been in eight or nine BMW Championships in 15 years, two Tour Championships, and it always comes down to a shot or two throughout the whole year. There is literally no difference in the caliber of player who is 51 or 49 [on the points list], but one guy’s entire year is set. So that’s the frustrating part from our side.”

Ultimately, it will be fans who decide whether the new format stays or goes. But for the time being, it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.