PGA Tour's major move against Greg Norman and LIV golf rebels

The PGA Tour says Greg Norman's Saudi-backed LIV Invitational Series is an attempt to but the sport of golf. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/LIV Golf/Getty Images)
The PGA Tour says Greg Norman's Saudi-backed LIV Invitational Series is an attempt to but the sport of golf. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/LIV Golf/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour has moved to increase prizemoney and add more events as it looks to compete with the Saudi Arabian backed LIV Invitational Series.

The LIV series has been outright accused of trying to buy the sport of golf by PGA commissioner Jay Monahan, who conceded on Thursday that the Tour simply didn't have the funds to match them.

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Monahan said increasing the purse at eight events for the 2022-23 season to an average of roughly $29m each was the PGA's attempt to keep up with LIV.

The rival series is financially backed by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, worth more than A$361m, allowing it to aggressively pursue high-profile players away from the PGA.

The PGA Tour boss was forthright in labelling the introduction of LIV to the golfing world as an 'arms race' where 'the only weapons here are dollar bills'.

Monahan said the PGA in isolation had little chance to compete financially with a foreign monarchy.

"I am not naive. If this is an arms race and if the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA Tour can't compete," Monahan said.

"The PGA Tour, an American institution, can't compete with a foreign monarchy that is spending billions of dollars in an attempt to buy the game of golf.

"We welcome good, healthy competition.

"The LIV Saudi Golf League is not that. It's an irrational threat; one not concerned with the return on investment or true growth of the game."

The arrival of the LIV series has been met with scepticism about it's Saudi backing, with critics dismissing the series as an attempt to improve Saudi Arabia's global image.

PGA Tour increases prizemoney in competition with LIV series

Longstanding allegations of human rights abuses in the nation have lead to those participating in the LIV series, which has also recieved investment from Australian golfing great Greg Norman, facing questions about the ethics of their decision.

Monahan said players in the PGA Tour had the advantage of not having to justify their decision to participate.

"On the PGA Tour our members compete for the opportunity to add their names to history books, and, yes, significant financial benefits," Monahan said.

"We will ultimately come out of the current challenge stronger because of our loyalty and support of our players and fans, the best in the world, as well as our planned future growth."

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan says the tour can't compete with the sheer amount of cash available to the LIV series. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan says the tour can't compete with the sheer amount of cash available to the LIV series. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Along with a bump in prize money, Monahan also announced a new three-event international series in the fall for the top players to be held in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

In 2024, the PGA Tour will return to a calendar year schedule rather than the current model that sees a season split over two years.

There will also be changes to the FedEx Cup playoff with a greater focus on the best players.

Currently the top 125 in the points standing qualify for the first playoff event but in 2023 that will be cut to 70.

The top 50 will advance to the second playoff event with the top 30 qualifying for final at East Lake in Atlanta.

With AAP

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