US golf’s PGA Tour has announced a record prize pot for its 2022-23 season, with a total of $428.6 million to be distributed across official events and $145 million in bonuses, as it looks to compete with the rival LIV Golf tour.
The 2022-23 season, featuring 44 regular season tournaments and three playoff events, will be the last wraparound campaign before the tour switches back to a calendar-year-based schedule beginning in 2024.
The season also includes eight invitational tournaments offering “elevated” purses between $15 million and $25 million – the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitation, Memorial Tournament, Players Championship, and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
The first two FedEx Cup playoff events, the FedEx St. Jude Championship and the BMW Championships have also had their prize purses increased from $15 million to $20 million.
The $145 million bonus purse, meanwhile, includes $75 million for the FedEx Cup, $20 million for the Comcast Business Tour Top 10, and $50 million for the Player Impact Program.
The new season will also see the introduction of a new three-event, limited field, no-cut series to be held in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East with purses of at least $20 million each. Details of the series will be announced soon.
The moves come as the circuit is fighting back against the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, which has led to the defection of several high-profile players on multi-million-dollar deals, including six-time major winner Phil Mickelson.
Last week, LIV Golf announced plans for an expanded tournament schedule in 2023 with a total prize purse of $405 million – a sizeable increase from the $225 million offered this year.
The series said it would build on this year’s eight-event Invitational Series by introducing the LIV Golf League, which will see 40 players and 12 teams compete across 14 tournaments. It will also introduce a system of promotion and relegation to refresh the player pool.
Announcing the new schedule, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said: “We’ve heard from our fans and the overwhelming sentiment was that they wanted more consequences for both the FedExCup regular season and the playoffs, and to further strengthen events that traditionally feature top players competing head-to-head.
“We feel strongly we’ve accomplished all of these objectives and more, creating a cadence of compelling drama for every tournament throughout the season.
“Each week has its own identity and purpose, and we’re set up for an exciting 2022-23 campaign as we transition into a calendar season in 2024 that will include a number of new and innovative competitive aspects in the fall.”
Only 70 players will earn a start in the first FedExCup Playoffs event, with the Tour Championship set to begin on August 21 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Last month, the PGA Tour sent a memo to players outlining a new ranking, the FedExCup Playoffs, and Eligibility Points List, which omits players that have been suspended but not resigned from the circuit.
The move ensured those who joined the LIV Golf Invitational Series do not negatively impact other players’ eligibility.
The 2022-23 PGA Tour season begins September 12 with the Fortinet Championship in Napa, California.