The PGA Tour released its schedule for the 2024 regular season and FedEx Cup playoffs on Monday, unveiling its new name for so-called designated tournaments — "signature" events — as well as how players will access them.
The signature events initially were a response to the threat from LIV Golf, which had drawn several big-name players away from the PGA Tour with record purses and signing bonuses.
Even though the PGA Tour and LIV's financiers, the Saudi Public Investment Fund, have a partnership in the works, the signature events will stay as a way to bring the best players on the tour to the same events with higher purses.
The eight signature events for the 2024 regular season are the Sentry (formerly called the Sentry Tournament of Champions), the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the Genesis Invitational, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the RBC Heritage, the Wells Fargo Championship, the Memorial Tournament and the Travelers Championship.
The Players Championship and the three legs of the FedEx Cup playoffs — the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship — are also elite, high-purse events previously counted among the designated events. What separates the signature events is their limited-field status, five of which will be played without a 36-hole cut.
The three player-hosted tournaments — the Genesis (Tiger Woods), the Memorial (Jack Nicklaus) and the Arnold Palmer — will have a 36-hole cut limited to the top 50 players and any player within 10 shots of the lead. The winner of these events will receive $4 million, or 20 percent of the full purse, up from 18 percent previously.
The other five signature events will do away with the traditional cut after the second round.
Seven of the eight signature events were also designated events in 2023, the only new addition being the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in place of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The Pro-Am will be adjusted so that amateurs will only compete alongside the reduced field of 80 professionals for the first two rounds, while the focus turns exclusively to the professionals for the weekend.
With signature events' fields "anticipated to be between 70-80 players," per a news release, the PGA Tour also laid out how eligibility will work. The top 50 members from the 2022-23 FedEx Cup standings will be eligible for every signature event, and other tour members can play their way in throughout the season via "The Next 10" and "The Swing 5."
The Next 10 refers to the top 10 members in the FedEx Cup season standings not otherwise exempt into signature events. The Swing 5 is more of a snapshot of players' recent performances — the top five points-earners from the stretch of standard tournaments preceding each signature event.
"We are excited about the roll-out of the PGA Tour's reimagined schedule and what the season will offer to our fans: a January start with stars competing head-to-head more often, alongside the weekly drama of life-altering moments and the emergence of new stars," commissioner Jay Monahan said in a news release.
The tour's announcement made no mention of the PIF or LIV Golf, and other financial details were limited.
At least one new tournament is coming to the 2024 schedule with the debut of the Myrtle Beach Classic, to be played opposite the Wells Fargo Championship May 9-12 with 300 FedEx Cup points going to the winner. Another new event is expected be announced as an alternate to the Scottish Open July 11-14.
The FedEx Cup champion will be crowned Sept. 1 at the end of the Tour Championship in Atlanta, with a record $25 million bonus awarded to the season-long points winner.
The tour will reveal more about the 2024 "FedEx Cup Fall" season at a later date.
—Field Level Media