Player memo explains new key pieces of the PGA Tour’s designated events model. Here's what you need to know
PGA commissioner Jay Monahan laughs with newly crowned FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy after his victory at the Tour Championship last August.
It was clear from the start what the PGA Tour’s new designated events would be loaded with: money. As in $20 million purses in what is shaping up to be mostly no-cut, 72-hole tournaments with fields of 70 to 80 players. But on Monday, PGA Tour officials outlined the potentially even more important aspect of these events starting in 2024: How many FedEx Cup points they’d be offering.
In a memo to players, the tour broke down the number of points that tournament winners will be receiving, establishing various tiers for events depending on their status:
Why is that a big deal? Well, when Jay Monahan outlined the tour’s new designated event model for 2024 at last month’s Players Championship, the FedEx Cup points list was identified as the principle way players will qualifying for these tournaments moving forward—the top 50 at the end of the season are guaranteed spots in all designated events for the next year as well as the top 10 not otherwise eligible off the current year’s points list. And without making designated events mandatory for high profile players, a way to incentivize them to compete in as many designated events as possible is to supersized the FedEx Cup points being offered, with 700 to 750 being given to the winner. Additionally, the Golf Channel has reported that designated events will award more than twice as many points as non-designated events through the top 20. With no cut in these events, a few high finishes will allow tour pros to lock in their playing privileges in these events for the next season.
Tour officials, however, insist that after running thousands of models using the tiering outlined above, the rate of turnover inside the top 50 and the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list at the end of each season will remain at roughly 60 percent, assuaging concerns (at least in theory) that the designated events will be a closed shop for those pros that initially qualify for the events.
The memo reiterated the other ways players can qualify for designated events, including tournament victories, top spots in the Official World Golf Ranking and being among the top five players FedEx Cup points earners not otherwise exempt through “swings” of full-field events between designated events.
Also outlined was the qualification criteria for players to earn/keep their PGA Tour cards for the next year. The top 70 in the FedEx Cup points at the end of the regular season get into the FedEx Cup playoffs and maintain their membership for the next season. The top 50 at the end of the playoffs lock up spots in designated events. The top 30 after the BMW Championship qualify for the Tour Championship and the right to compete for the $75 million FedEx Cup Bonus Distribution at East Lake.
As for players ranked 71 to 125 at the end regular season? Well, they’ll need to continue to compete in the handful of events the tour will be running in the fall—the tour has yet to formally announced what events these might be or how many will be played—where FedEx Cup points will be offered, 500 points going to the winner of each tournament. All players inside the top 125 at the end of the fall calendar will be exempt for full-field events and the Players Championship the following year.
After the top 125, there are three more category tiers of PGA Tour membership status:
• The top 10 players not previously eligible for tour membership off the DP World Tour Race to Dubai points list.
• The top 30 players off the Korn Ferry Tour points list.
• The top five players and ties at PGA Tour Q school.
MORE: Who's got the inside track for qualifying for 2024's designated events? Here's the current PGA Tour FedEx Cup points list
Players 126 to 150 on the FedEx Cup points list at the end of the fall will carry conditional status on tour for the following year.