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PGA Tour suspends Jon Rahm, which has domino effect on other players' eligibility for 2024

December 11, 2023
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Orlando Ramirez

The PGA Tour put out a memo to its players on Monday evening announcing that World No. 3 Jon Rahm, who signed a deal last week to play for LIV Golf, has been suspended, an expected move that will have a positive domino effect for numerous players. The tour also addressed recent player concerns about how FedEx Cup points will be allocated during the 2024 season, but it stopped short of making any changes for the time being.

Rahm was suspended under rules the tour adopted upon the inauguration of LIV that “ensure that suspended members do not negatively impact other players’ tournament eligibility, position on the Priority Rankings or eligibility to compete in the Playoffs and Signature Events.” As such, the tour said that Rahm’s results from the 2022-23 season—in which he won four times and finished 18th in the FedEx Cup—will not count in the points list that prioritizes eligibility for the 2024 season.

The happiest player in the circumstance is likely Canada's Mackenzie Hughes, who moves from No. 51 to No. 50 in the standings and will now be eligible for the eight signature events in 2024 with $20 million purses. The other trickle-downs are that Alex Smalley moves to No. 60 and gets into two early signature events, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, and Carl Yuan will keep his tour card by moving to 125th after he finished 126th following the FedEx Fall.

The tour noted that the final eligibility will be determined on Dec. 31, which leaves open the possibility that others could move up in the standings should there be more defections to LIV.

In the memo's second section, the tour addressed concerns that were expressed in a peition circulated to the PGA Tour membership last week. That petition requested a “special meeting” to address how FedEx Cup points are calculated; the number of signature events; the PIP Program; and a discussion PGA Tour leadership, policy board and player directors.”

In 2024, winners of signature events will earn 700 FedEx Cup points compared to 500 for winners of other PGA Tour events, with the distribution of points more heavily weighted to signature events for all other finishes. The tour responded on Monday, saying the PGA Tour Policy Board and management team discussed the matter on a recent call and that “the board is listening to the concerns expressed from individual members and takes the concerns seriously.”

The memo noted that there was “considerable effort” to devise the 2024 schedule model, numerous scenarios were considered and the result came from extensive modeling. “Having performed this,” the tour said, “we believe the model approved by the board is the best model to achieve this goal.”

The tour said that it will closely monitor the model in the first half of 2024 and conduct a thorough review of the system and determine if adjustments need to be made before the 2025 season.