PGA Tour schedule
11 winners and losers from the PGA Tour's new schedule
Peter Malnati plays a shot on the ninth hole during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links in February.
A picture of the 2024 PGA Tour schedule is starting to come together, even if some parts remain unclear. Sources told Golf Digest that the PGA Tour issued a memo to all sponsors Thursday stating early schedule reports are “inaccurate.” However, it is believed that the majority of the leaked schedule will mirror next week’s official release. Keeping that in mind, here are the winners and losers from the proposed new PGA Tour schedule:
Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Beginning in 2024 the Pebble Beach Pro-Am will be part of the tour’s Signature Series, or what the tour called its elevated/designated events this season. As an upshot, the amateur portion of the event will end after 36 holes, but that’s a small price to pay for a guarantee that the sport’s best will return to Carmel.
The gettin’ was already good for golf’s best performers, and it’s about to get better. The tour’s new signature series will codify that station, turning its designated events into another iteration of the former World Golf Championships with limited fields and (mostly) no-cut formats. And unlike this year, players will not be forced to play in the series or face PIP penalties for not participating.
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, who helped save and revive the Houston Open following Shell Oil Company’s exodus as title sponsor, has not been quiet in public or behind the scenes is airing his belief the tournament should be returned to its historical spot in the spring. Crane went so far as to float the possibility of moving the tournament to LIV Golf should the tour not meet his demands. Crane got his wish, as the Houston Open is no longer part of the fall slate and now boasts a new tournament sponsor.
Bronze medallist C.T. Pan, gold medallist Xander Schauffele and silver medallist Rory Sabbatini stand on the podium at the medal ceremony of the men's competition during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Jack and Tiger
Speaking at this year’s Masters, Tiger Woods was emphatic that he and Jack Nicklaus were against no-cut events, especially when it came to their own tournaments. “I certainly am pushing for my event to have a cut. I think that maybe the player-hosted events may have cuts. These are things that Jack and I are still in discussion with [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay [Monahan] and the board and the tour and the rest of the guys. That still is in flux.” The legends got their wish, as the Genesis Invitational (Woods), Memorial (Nicklaus) and the Arnold Palmer Invitational will be a part of the Signature Series but will also have cuts after 36 holes.
The Byron Nelson
Or should we say, “The CJ Cup honoring Byron Nelson.” Yes, that’s the event’s new real name. With the Pebble Pro-Am becoming a signature event, AT&T needed to divert its funds from its Dallas event, leaving the Nelson without a sponsor. There were rumblings if the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex needed two tour events (and in future seasons, three thanks to the PGA of America relocating its headquarters to Frisco and bringing the PGA Championship with it), but the CJ Group’s patronage will fuse the fall season’s CJ Cup (which had been conducted in South Korea, Las Vegas and South Carolina) with the Nelson.
It appears Travelers’ 2023 designation was not an outlier, as it was named a part of the tour’s Signature Series. It’s post-U.S. Open date may mean the Travelers will have less starpower than other series events, but no matter: The little tournament that could has gone from near extinction to one of the tour’s marquee competitions.
Palm Beach Classic
One of the reasons Honda left as title sponsor was the tournament’s date on the schedule kept many of the stars—some who lived just minutes from PGA National Resort—from competing. Sources with the tour tell Golf Digest that discussions remain ongoing with potential financial backers for the event, but given the Palm Beach tournament is sandwiched between designated events (Pebble Beach, Genesis Invitational on the front; API, Players Championship on the back) field issues will likely remain.
There are more than a few big-time sponsors, sources tell Golf Digest, that remain perplexed that the tour doesn’t have annual stops in the country’s three biggest markets in New York City, Boston and Chicago. (Or Philadelphia, for that matter.) The new schedule does not address those complaints, as those metropolitan areas are again left off the tour schedule in 2024. To be fair, these cities were not expected to get events next season, but it is worth noting LIV Golf has tournaments in or around NYC, Boston and Chicago, and as the tour moves forward with a potential partnership with LIV’s owner, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, don’t be surprised of one or all of those cities finds their way back to the tour on a permanent basis.
Got to feel for our friends up north. The 2020 and 2021 Canadian Opens were canceled due to pandemic restrictions, and the fields for the past two events—while boasting some stars like Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Tony Finau—were still short on depth, part of which stemmed from Canada’s vaccine requirements. Field strength will likely deteriorate if the leaked schedule holds true, because the 2024 Canadian Open is slated to be on the front of two designated events and the U.S. Open. Also complicating matters is RBC; according to Sports Business Journal, the company has only renewed its sponsorship for one year, waiting to see how the tour’s alliance with Saudi Arabia plays out. Should RBC depart, the tournament’s aforementioned field issues could hamper new sponsorship opportunities.
On one hand, the Olympics has a bit more breathing room than it did in 2021, when a WGC was scheduled the following week. And (knock on wood) the '24 Summer Games shouldn’t be plagued by a pandemic or Zika virus. Still, the golf schedule remains crowded, the Olympic format remains uninspired and the past two competitions failed to resonate with the general public, there’s a chance the sport’s stars pass on a trip to Paris.
Rocket Mortgage Classic, 3M Open and John Deere Classic
Stars are going to need a respite at some point, and if you’re looking for potential breaks, these three tournaments fit the bill. The Rocket Mortgage Classic will be on the back end of the Memorial-U.S. Open-Travelers stretch, and with more top players competing in the Scottish Open the week before the Open Championship it’s unlikely the John Deere will improve its field issues. As for the 3M Open, it’s had one of the worst strength of fields on tour the past few seasons, and keeping its spot behind the Open—with the Olympics the following week—won’t improve that standing.