PGA Golf

PGA News Wire
  • Jason Day, Taylor Pendrith WD from John Deere Classic
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 30, 2022

    Former world No. 1 Jason Day of Australia and Taylor Pendrith of Canada withdrew from the John Deere Classic on Thursday.

    • Day, who is now 137th in the Official World Golf Ranking, exited with a back injury. He was replaced in the field by Ted Potter.

      The 34-year-old Day has 12 PGA Tour victories, including the 2015 PGA Championship. He also finished tied for second in the 2011 Masters in addition to posting second-place finishes at the 2011 and 2013 U.S. Opens.

      Pendrith had missed the previous three months of action after reportedly sustaining a fractured rib at the Players Championship. He hoped to return on Thursday, however TSN reported that he tested positive for COVID-19.

      Pendrith was replaced in the field by K.J. Choi.

      --Field Level Media

  • U.S. captain Zach Johnson not looking to LIV for Ryder Cup picks
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 30, 2022

    When it comes time for captain Zach Johnson to round out the United States Ryder Cup roster in 2023, the LIV Golf Series is unlikely to receive consideration.

    • That would include two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, who resigned membership from the PGA Tour, and other Americans with Ryder Cup experience, including Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.

      "So what I know is this: In order to play on the Ryder Cup team whether you're top six or a pick, you must garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America," Johnson said ahead of the John Deere Classic. "In order to garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America, you have to be a member of the PGA of America. The way that we're members of the PGA of America is through the PGA Tour. I'll let you connect the dots from there."

      In short, the dots don't currently connect for players in the LIV Golf Series targeting Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup events. Team Europe captain Henrik Stenson would not comment on whether LIV Golf Series players are eligible to play for Team Europe, including international competition mainstay Sergio Garcia.

      The status of players on the LIV could change ahead of the 2023 Ryder Cup in Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia Montecelio, Italy.

      Zach Johnson said his status on the PGA Tour will not change, but he understands the rationale of some of the players he called "my guys" who have defected.

      "I got some friends that have decided to go that route," Zach Johnson said. "A lot of individuals that I'm for. I mean these are my friends. I'm for them. I want them to do well. I want them to, you know, find contentment or happiness in whatever it may be. It's not for me to say how that develops or how they find that. I will say I have the utmost respect for them individually."

      --Field Level Media

  • 2022 John Deere Classic: Preview, Odds & Best Bets
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 29, 2022

    The final PGA Tour stop before The Open Championship is the John Deere Classic, which begins Thursday in Silvis, Ill.

    • The event is one of five included in The Open Championship qualifying series. The top three finishers within the top 10 who are not already in the field will score a spot at St. Andrews in two weeks.

      Field Level Media's golf experts break down the John Deere Classic and provide their best bets.

      JOHN DEERE CLASSIC

      Silvis, Ill., June 30-July 3

      Course: TPC Deere Run (Par 71, 7,289 yards)

      Purse: $7.2M (Winner: $1.278M)

      Defending Champion: Lucas Glover

      FedExCup Leader: Scottie Scheffler

      HOW TO FOLLOW

      TV: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)

      PGA Tour Live: Daily feeds on ESPN+

      Social Media: @JDClassic (Twitter)

      NOTES

      --Only 49 of the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings are in the field this week.

      --Zach Johnson, the 2012 winner who also serves on the tournament's board of directors, will make his 20th consecutive start in the event.

      --Daniel Berger (injury) and three-time champion Steve Stricker withdrew this week. Stricker's unrestricted sponsor exemption went to Morgan Hoffman, who lost his PGA Tour status after exhausting his major medical exemption.

      --Five of the past 10 event champions were first-time winners on Tour.

      BEST BETS

      --Webb Simpson (+1400 at BetMGM) is among the top-ranked players in the field at No. 58. He has only one top-10 in 15 starts this season and returns to the event for the first time since 2010. Simpson is second at the sportsbook with 5.8 percent of the winning tickets and 8.7 percent of the handle backing him. He's second at DraftKings with 9 and 8 percent of the action, respectively, at +1200.

      --Adam Hadwin (+1800) was the 18-hole leader at the U.S. Open earlier this month and his T7 there was his fifth top-10 this season. He's third at BetMGM with 5.1 percent of the bets and 6.0 percent of the handle backing him.

      --Sahith Theegala (+2500) is coming off a T2 last week - his fifth top-10 of his rookie season. After opening at +3300, he is the biggest liability at BetMGM as he has drawn 9.9 percent of the winning bets and 12.0 percent of the handle. He also leads at DraftKings with 9 and 10 percent, respectively, at +2500.

      --Denny McCarthy (+2800) has four top-10s this season. He is also fifth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting this season and fifth with 303 birdies made.

      --Maverick McNealy (+3000) is No. 42 in the FedEx standings - second-highest in the field. He's seeking his first victory on tour. He is the third-biggest liability for BetMGM after opening at +4000 and drawing 5.2 percent of the handle.

      --Jason Day (+3300) has also seen his odds shorten dramatically after opening at +3300 at BetMGM. The former major champion has been supported by 3.9 percent of the bets and 4.5 percent of the handle.

      --J.T. Poston is being offered at +4500 at DraftKings, where he is third in the field with 4 percent of the bets and 5 percent of the handle backing him. That is the same level of action that Nick Hardy has drawn at +4000.

      --Field Level Media

  • The CJ Cup moving from Nevada to South Carolina
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 29, 2022

    The CJ Cup is moving to Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland, S.C., this October, the PGA Tour announced Wednesday.

    • The limited-field tournament took place in Nevada in 2020 and 2021 after being held on South Korea's Jeju Island for the first three years of the event from 2017-19.

      The CJ Cup in South Carolina will feature a 78-man field that includes five players designated by the Korea PGA and the top three available Korean players from the world rankings. Most of the field is based on the previous season's FedEx Cup standings on the PGA Tour.

      Rory McIlroy is the defending champion. Prior winners were Jason Kokrak (2020), Justin Thomas (2017, 2019) and Brooks Koepka (2018).

      --Field Level Media

  • 3-time champ Steve Stricker WDs from John Deere Classic
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 29, 2022

    Three-time John Deere Classic champion Steve Stricker has withdrawn from this week's tournament.

    • PGA Tour officials announced the news Tuesday but did not provide a reason for his absence.

      The tournament begins Thursday at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. Lucas Glover was the winner in 2021.

      Stricker won the tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and had played in 11 of the last 12 editions. He is the John Deere Classic's all-time leading money winner with nearly $3.3 million in 18 starts.

      Stricker, 55, finished second to Padraig Harrington at last week's U.S. Senior Open Championship in Pennsylvania.

      He was replaced in the John Deere Classic field by Morgan Hoffman.

      --Field Level Media

  • Brooks Koepka: Met with LIV after U.S. Open, ‘my opinion changed’
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 28, 2022

    Brooks Koepka had a straightforward explanation Tuesday for why he pulled an about-face over participating in the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

    • "Just my opinion, man," Koepka said during his introductory press conference at Pumpkin Ridge outside Portland, Ore.

      "My opinion changed. That was it. You guys will never believe me, but we didn't have the conversation till everything was done at the U.S. Open and figured it out and just said I was going to go one way or another. Here I am."

      Koepka deflected questions about LIV in the days before the U.S. Open, telling the media they were casting a "black cloud" over golf with their questions. In February, he seemed to turn his nose up at the Saudi-financed rival league when he said, "Somebody will sell out and go for it."

      The field at the first LIV tournament earlier this month in London included Koepka's younger brother, Chase.

      Now the four-time major champion has joined the fold, along with former Masters winner Patrick Reed and Pat Perez, who also attended Tuesday's press conference.

      Koepka, who has fought through knee, hip and wrist injuries of late, said the lighter schedule of LIV appealed to him. There are eight events in the inaugural season, with plans to expand to 10 next year.

      "What I've had to go through the last two years on my knees, the pain, the rehab, all this stuff, we realized you need a little bit more time off," said Koepka, who is 32. "I'd be the first one to say it's not been an easy last couple years and I think having a little more break, little more time at home to make sure I'm 100 percent before I go play in an event and don't feel like I'm forced to play right away."

      Koepka had been making his own schedule with the PGA Tour. He hasn't competed in a non-major since March.

      Koepka also said he hasn't resigned his tour card just yet. Neither has Perez, though the 46-year-old took some shots at PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, saying he "doesn't listen to the players."

      "We should be able to do whatever we want. We are independent contractors. The (PGA Tour) has tried to strong-arm us all year and come with bans and suspensions and all that, and how'd that work? Look how many guys are here. That didn't work at all."

      The recent wave of defections, which has also included Bryson DeChambeau, Matthew Wolff and Mexico's Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz, has sent the PGA Tour scrambling.

      Monahan announced plans for a revamped schedule beginning in 2023 that would increase purses at several marquee tournaments and introduce a fall series for the top 50 FedEx Cup finishers to compete for additional cash.

      The PGA Tour also announced Tuesday an increased partnership with the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour, which will increase some purses overseas and allow the top 10 players to earn PGA Tour cards for the following season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Daniel Berger withdraws from John Deere Classic
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 27, 2022

    Daniel Berger withdrew from this week's John Deere Classic on Monday, citing an unspecified injury.

    • He announced his withdrawal on Twitter, saying the decision "gutted" him but that he wasn't at 100 percent and did not "feel prepared to tee it up."

      Berger, 29, has four career PGA Tour victories but none this year. He has three top-10 finishes in 2022 but missed the cut at the U.S. Open.

      He withdrew from the Mexico Open at Vidanta in May before the event started, and a back injury kept him from defending his title at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.

      Berger is ranked No. 25 in the world and was the highest-ranked player in the field at the John Deere Classic.

      The tournament begins Thursday at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. Lucas Glover was the winner in 2021.

      --Field Level Media

  • Texas grad Pierceson Coody turned down millions from LIV
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 27, 2022

    Pierceson Coody received a massive contract offer from the LIV Golf Invitational Series, but the recent Texas grad opted to keep his focus on joining the PGA Tour.

    • "It was a crazy amount of money," Coody told Golf.com. "But I love the American tour."

      Coody won the Korn Ferry Tour (KFT) event in Maine over the weekend -- in his third start on the tour -- and said he has no regrets turning down the LIV last month. By winning the PGA University Series in 2022, Coody earned KFT membership.

      "I might be sitting on my couch with millions in my bank account watching my friends play on the PGA Tour, and that would have been devastating," he said.

      Coody was reportedly offered a "multi-million dollar" deal that included a contract for his twin brother, Parker, and covered two years of travel expenses in full.

      The third-generation golfers in the Coody family have familiar lineage as the grandson of 1971 Masters Tournament winner Charles Coody.

      A Big 12 conference competitor did jump at the LIV offer.

      Spain's Eugenio Chacarra, the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world, turned pro to join the LIV Golf Series, reports the Spanish newspaper Marca.

      Chacarra, 22, is signing a three-year contract worth between $8 million and $15 million and will make his debut with the PGA Tour's rival circuit next week just outside Portland, Ore.

      "This contract gives me peace of mind and ensures the future of my family," he told the newspaper, according to a translation by SI.com.

      Chacarra earned first-team All-American honors in each of the past two seasons at Oklahoma State.

      The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series played its inaugural event earlier this month outside London. The tournament at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club (June 30-July 2) in North Plains, Ore., will be the first LIV event in the United States.

      Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and several other former PGA Tour players have joined the new tour.

      --Field Level Media

  • Lexi Thompson fined for slow play
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 27, 2022

    Lexi Thompson was fined $2,000 for slow play at the KPMG Women's PGA.

    • Thompson and Hye-Jin Choi were fined after being put on the clock with two holes remaining. The final group played 18 holes in five hours, 45 minutes on Sunday, which pushed television coverage from NBC to CNBC.

      In that closing stretch, Thompson lost a two-stroke lead to eventual winner In Gee Chun.

      Thompson bogeyed four of the final nine holes at Congressional, finishing one shot behind Chun. It was the fourth runner-up finish for Thompson in a major.

      --Field Level Media

  • Matthew Wolff reportedly joins LIV
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 27, 2022

    Matthew Wolff entered the field for the LIV Golf Series event in Portland this week, signaling his imminent exit from the PGA Tour.

    • Per multiple reports, Wolff, 23, is planning to announce his decision on Monday.

      Wolff finished 40th in the Travelers Championship in Connecticut on Sunday in what could be his Tour finale.

      Members of the Tour who have joined the LIV Golf Series are suspended once they take the tee box with the competitor, commissioner Jay Monahan said last week.

      Wolff's meteoric rise included a runner-up finish at the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot and a fourth-place finish at the PGA Championship the same year.

      After taking a two-month break last year to focus on his mental health, the former Oklahoma State star has missed the cut in seven of 12 starts.

      --Field Level Media

  • In Gee Chun blows lead, rallies to win Women's PGA Championship
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, June 26, 2022

    Despite shooting a second straight 3-over-par 75 and blowing her chance at a wire-to-wire victory, In Gee Chun sank clutch putts down the stretch to outlast Lexi Thompson on Sunday in a dramatic finish for her third major title in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Bethesda, Md.

    • Chun's 5-under 283 finish completed a roller-coaster day at Congressional Country Club that began with her giving up a lead that was as large as seven shots a day earlier. The South Korea native instead shook off four bogeys on the front nine to play flawlessly over the final six holes and rally from a two-stroke deficit against Thompson.

      Chun, 27, capped her comeback by salvaging par on the tournament's 72nd hole after her second-shot approach took an unfortunate bounce and rolled off the green. She putted from the fringe to get within 5 feet.

      That put the focus on Thompson, the Florida native who has endured a series of close calls in the past. Thompson missed her birdie putt from 12 feet. After Thompson tapped in for par, all that was left was Chun to sink her par putt for her fourth career LPGA victory.

      Thompson (73) and Australia's Minjee Lee (70) both finished a shot off the lead at 4 under.

      "It just means a lot because I didn't have any wins the last, almost 3 1/2 years, so I really appreciate it," a visibly emotional Chun said through tears.

      After tying a tournament record with an 8-under-par 64 on Thursday to grab a five-shot lead after the first round, Chun led by six strokes after a second-round 69. Her lead was down to three after Saturday's third-round struggles, and by the fourth hole Sunday she was already looking up at Thompson.

      Chun caught Thompson on the pivotal 16th, when she birdied the par-5 hole while Thompson had her fourth bogey in a six-hole span. Since winning her only major at age 19 at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship, it marked the ninth major in which the 27-year-old finished in the top three without victory.

      Lee, this year's U.S. Open champion, fought her way into contention by tying for the second-lowest round of the day in windy conditions.

      "After my start, I really just wanted to get back to even, but I hit some really good shots out there and gave myself little birdie opportunities despite a little bit harder conditions," Lee said. "I'm quite happy with how I finished."

      Rounding out the top five was 19-year-old Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand, who finished two shots back at 3 under after a 73 Sunday. Five players tied fir fifth at 1 under -- including Japan's Nasa Hataoka (low-round 69), Australia's Hannah Green (75), and South Koreans Hyo Joo Kim (71), Hye-Jin Choi (76) and Sei Young Kim (76).

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: No. 2-ranked amateur turns pro to join LIV Golf
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, June 25, 2022

    Spain's Eugenio Chacarra, the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world, is turning pro to join the LIV Golf Series, reports the Spanish newspaper Marca.

    • Chacarra, 22, is signing a three-year contract worth between $8 million and $15 million and will make his debut with the PGA Tour's rival circuit next week just outside Portland, Ore., per the report.

      "This contract gives me peace of mind and ensures the future of my family," he told the newspaper, according to a translation by SI.com.

      Chacarra earned first-team All-American honors in each of the past two seasons at Oklahoma State.

      The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series played its inaugural event earlier this month outside London. The tournament at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club (June 30-July 2) in North Plains, Ore., will be the first LIV event in the United States.

      Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and several other former PGA Tour players have joined the new tour.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Scottish Open bans LIV golfers
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, June 25, 2022

    Golfers on the LIV Golf Invitational Series will not be permitted to compete next month at the Scottish Open, according to a report by the (London) Telegraph on Thursday.

    • The July 7-10 event at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland, is a key warmup for the Open Championship, scheduled for July 14-17 at St. Andrews Links' Old Course.

      The reported move by the Scottish Open is not a surprise given the fact that the tournament will be co-sanctioned for the initial time by both the DP World Tour (formerly known as the European Tour) and the PGA Tour.

      The PGA Tour has suspended all members who have defected for the Saudi-backed LIV circuit, which will make its U.S.-based debut June 30 to July 2 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.

      The list of LIV players includes Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Kevin Na, Talor Gooch, Spain's Sergio Garcia, South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel and England's Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rory McIlroy, J.T Poston share first-round lead in Travelers
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 23, 2022

    Rory McIlroy and J.T Poston each shot a bogey-free, 8-under-par 62 to tie for a one-shot lead over a packed field in the opening round at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., on Thursday.

    • Fourteen players shot a 66 or better at TPC River Highlands, a welcome break from the scores at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., the rugged course where the U.S. Open was contested last week.

      It's like the anti-U.S. Open here," said McIlroy, who finished tied for fifth place in Brookline. "It's like U.S. Open rehab coming here. You're like, ‘Oh, I can actually make some birdies. This is nice.'"

      Poston made his birdies, too -- six of him in his first nine holes. Starting on the back nine, he carded a 29 as he made the turn.

      "It was nice to kind of finally put some good swings together, hit some good shots and make some putts," he said.

      In his past 10 tournaments, Poston missed the cut six times but finished tied for third at the RBC Heritage in April and tied for ninth at the Wells Fargo Championship in May.

      "I feel like my scores and my results may not have shown that the last few weeks or months, but I felt like I was getting close, and I've been working hard at it," Poston said. "I guess today was kind of one of those days where it finally clicked a little bit."

      The two hold a one-stroke lead over Xander Schauffele and Martin Laird, who recorded 63s, and are two up on Charles Howell III, Webb Simpson and Patrick Cantlay. Cam Davis and Matthew NeSmith shot rounds of 65 to sit three strokes off the lead.

      Five more players are four strokes behind the leaders with a round of 66.

      McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, played with a cold he caught from his young daughter.

      "Energy levels are OK," he said. "I'm feeling a little under the weather, but it's just concentration at this point. I've got three more rounds left until I have a couple of weeks off and prepare for the Open Championship. I'm going to put everything into those three rounds."

      Cantlay didn't have to cope with a cold -- just changing weather conditions that the afternoon group faced as the wind kicked up.

      "I thought the conditions in the afternoon were a lot tougher," he said. "It was blowing as soon as I got on the first tee. Watching a little bit of the coverage this morning, I knew it was much different this afternoon than the low scores those guys put up this morning."

      The course was unforgiving to Jordan Spieth, who shot a 5-over 75, mixing four birdies with five bogeys and two double bogeys.

      --Field Level Media

  • 2022 Travelers Championship: Preview, Odds & Best Bets
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 22, 2022

    The PGA Tour returns to Cromwell, Conn. for the Travelers Championship, which typically features extremely low scoring on one of the tour's shortest courses.

    • Field Level Media's golf experts break down key tournament notes, odds and best bets for the event that begins Thursday at TPC River Highlands.

      TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP

      Cromwell, Conn., June 23-26

      Course: TPC River Highlands (Par 70, 6,852 yards)

      Purse: $8.3M (Winner: $1.494M)

      Defending Champion: Harris English

      FedExCup Leader: Scottie Scheffler

      HOW TO FOLLOW

      TV: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)

      PGA Tour Live: Daily feeds on ESPN+

      Social Media: @TravelersChamp (Twitter)

      NOTES

      --Scottie Scheffler leads a field that includes six of the top 15 players in the Official World Golf Ranking after Justin Thomas (back) withdrew.

      --English defeated Kramer Hickok in an eight-hole playoff last year, tied for the second-longest playoff in PGA Tour history. English finished T61 at the U.S. Open after missing the cut at the Memorial, his first event since the Hawaii swing due to hip surgery.

      --Former University of Texas star Cole Hammer will make his PGA Tour debut as a professional. Ben James, the top-ranked junior in the country, is also in the field.

      --One of three events thus far this season to play under 7,000 yards, TPC River Highlands is where Jim Furyk tied the tour's 18-hole scoring record with a 58 in 2016.

      --Morgan Hoffman will make his final start on his Major Medical Extension this week. TPC Highlands was also where Hoffman made his professional debut in 2011. He announced in December 2017 that he had been diagnosed with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

      BEST BETS

      --Scheffler (+900 at BetMGM), who turned 26 on Tuesday, is trying to become the first five-time winner in a season since Thomas in 2016-17. He has been backed by the most winning bets at the sportsbook at 7.4 percent and is third with 7.2 percent of the handle.

      --McIlroy (+1000) opened at +900 and admitted experiencing some fatigue as he competes for the fourth consecutive week. He followed a win at the RBC Canadian Open with a T5 at the U.S. Open to move to No. 2 in the world rankings.

      --Cantlay (+1400) has finished T15 or better in each of his past four starts in the event. He is second at BetMGM with 9.6 percent of the handle supporting him.

      --Sam Burns (+1800) is a three-time winner this season and was in contention last week before settling for a T27 after closing with a 76.

      --Jordan Spieth (+2500), the 2017 event winner, entered the field on Friday. He has drawn the highest handle at BetMGM at 13.8 percent, making Spieth the sportsbook's biggest liability.

      --Joaquin Niemann is second at DraftKings with 5 percent of the bets and 7 percent of the handle backing him at +3000.

      --Seamus Power (+5000) is the second-biggest liability at BetMGM, where his has drawn 5.2 percent of the bets and 6.1 percent of the handle.

      --Davis Riley (+4000) is another popular longshot, having drawn 4.0 percent of the bets and 6.0 percent of the handle at BetMGM to be the third-biggest liability. Riley leads at DraftKings with 6 and 8 percent of the action, respectively, at +4000. He is +3300 at PointsBet, but still leads the sportsbook with 8.7 percent of the total tickets and is third with 10.3 percent of the handle.

      --Sungjae Im is being offered at +2800 at PointsBet, where he is the biggest liability this week with 17.9 percent of the handle backing him.

      --Field Level Media

  • PGA Tour increases purse of 8 events, revamps schedule
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 22, 2022

    After issuing a memo to players featuring purse increases to eight events and an enhanced schedule starting next year, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan made another strong statement on Wednesday during his press conference prior to the Travelers Championship.

    • "As I told the players (on Tuesday), let me be clear, I am not naive. If this is an arms race, and if the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA Tour can't compete with a foreign monarchy that is spending billions of dollars trying to buy the game of golf," Monahan said in Cromwell, Conn., referencing the LIV Golf Series.

      "We welcome good, healthy competition. The LIV Saudi Golf League is not that. It's an irrational threat, one not concerned with return on investment or true growth of the game."

      The PGA Tour elected to reduce the number of members who are fully exempt each season and added a three-stop series of international events.

      The memo sent to the players included purse increases to the Sentry Tournament of Champions ($15 million), Genesis Invitational ($20 million), Arnold Palmer Invitational ($20 million), Players Championship ($25 million), Dell Technologies WGC-Match Play ($20 million), Memorial ($20 million), FedEx St. Jude Championship ($20 million) and BMW Championship ($20 million).

      "These increases will be funded by sponsor support and supplemented in the short term by the operating reserve," Monahan said in the memo. "Please note these amendments to the Resource Allocation Plan do not affect previously announced prize money increases at other events."

      Additionally, the memo detailed a return to a calendar-year schedule with the FexExCup contested from January to August, culminating with the playoffs and fall events to determine the top 125. The first full year of this system will be 2024.

      Under the current system, the top 125 finishers qualify for the first playoff event. The top 70 in the standings progress to the next event, and the top 30 from there make the elite Tour Championship.

      Next season, the top 70 players in FedEx Cup points will qualify for the first playoff tournament, the FedEx St. Jude Championship. The top 50 will then advance to the BMW Championship, with the top 30 players moving on to the Tour Championship at East Lake.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rory McIlroy rips some LIV golfers for 'duplicitous' behavior
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 22, 2022

    Rory McIlroy didn't hold back on Wednesday when discussing PGA Tour players who have elected to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

    • McIlroy was asked if he was surprised about one golfer in particular -- Brooks Koepka -- for his decision to join the rival tour.

      "Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he said previously," McIlroy said. "I think that's why I'm surprised at a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another, and I don't understand that and I don't know if that's for legal reasons or if they can't -- I have no idea. But it's pretty duplicitous on their part to say one thing and then do another thing."

      When asked about when Koepka made his comments, McIlroy was blunt with his response.

      "The whole way through. The whole way through, in public and private, all of it," McIlroy said.

      McIlroy and Koepka were slated to compete this week in the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn. Koepka, however, withdrew from the PGA Tour event on Tuesday. The LIV Golf Series announced Wednesday afternoon that Koepka had joined. He is scheduled to participate in the first event in the United States on June 30 in Portland.

      Koepka, 32, said before the U.S. Open that media was responsible for the uproar over the player exodus to the LIV, and giving the new tour "legs."

      "I'm here at the U.S. Open," he said. "I'm ready to play the U.S. Open, and I think it kind of (stinks), too, you are all throwing this black cloud over the U.S. Open. It's one of my favorite events. I don't know why you guys keep doing that. The more legs you give (LIV Golf), the more you keep talking about it."

      McIlroy, 33, also talked about the proposed new fall schedule as a means to compete with the burgeoning LIV Golf Invitational Series. Those new tournaments would rotate sites around the world and -- like LIV's tournaments -- have no cut.

      "So I think having the FedExCup season go to a calendar year, like January to August, I think that would be a pretty good idea," he said. "So then it gives guys the opportunity to play if they want to play in the fall or if they don't want to play in the fall they don't have to, they're not forced to, it's not going to make a difference in any way.

      "But again, a lot of these fall events are destination events. Like Napa and Mexico and places where people like to bring their families and sort of have a sort of like half golf tournament, half vacation. So you're still going to have guys that play in some of those events.

      "But again you're trying to give playing opportunities and create prize funds for the lower half of the membership, but also by trying to accommodate what the upper half of the membership want as well by saying they want an off season, time away from FedExCup schedule. So it's a balance."

      --Field Level Media

  • Justin Thomas (back) withdraws from Travelers Championship
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 22, 2022

    Justin Thomas, the world's No. 5 golfer, withdrew Wednesday from this week's Travelers Championship.

    • "Before the rumors start flying, I have decided to WD to treat and rest my back which I tweaked earlier this week," he wrote on Twitter. "Just making sure I get it taken care of and ready for the rest of the PGA season as planned. Hate to be missing one of the best/my favorite events @TravelersChamp!"

      PGA Tour Communications said Satoshi Kodaira of Japan will replace Thomas in the field in Cromwell, Conn.

      Thomas, 29, finished in third place at the RBC Canadian Open two weeks ago before tying for 37th last week at the U.S. Open. He has 15 PGA Tour wins, including PGA Championship wins in 2017 and 2022.

      His announcement comes on the heels of Brooks Koepka withdrawing from the event on Tuesday. The LIV Golf Series announced Wednesday it was welcoming Koepka to the competing tour, with his debut event expected to be the Portland tournament on June 30.

      Will Zalatoris also withdrew from the Cromwell event earlier this week. Zalatoris finished in a tie for second place at the U.S. Open.

      --Field Level Media

  • LIV golfers get green light for 150th Open Championship
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 22, 2022

    LIV Golf participants will be allowed to compete at the 150th Open Championship next month at St. Andrews in Scotland.

    • Wednesday's announcement by the R&A follows the USGA's decision to permit golfers from the breakaway, Saudi Arabia-funded circuit to play in last week's U.S. Open.

      "The Open is golf's original championship and since it was first played in 1860, openness has been fundamental to its ethos and unique appeal," R&A CEO Martin Slumbers said in a statement. "Players who are exempt or have earned a place through qualifying for The 150th Open in accordance with the entry terms and conditions will be able to compete in the Championship at St. Andrews. We are focused on staging a world class championship in July and celebrating this truly historic occasion for golf. We will invest the proceeds of The Open, as we always do, for the benefit of golf which reflects our purpose to ensure that the sport is thriving 50 years from now."

      Also Wednesday, four-time major champion Brooks Koepka officially joined the LIV contingent that includes Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.

      PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan suspended 17 players who participated in the inaugural LIV event earlier this month outside London.

      The Open Championship begins on July 14. Collin Morikawa, the defending champion, confirmed Tuesday that he is not joining the rival LIV tour.

      "To state for the record, once again, you all are absolutely wrong. I've said it since February at Riviera that I'm here to stay on the @PGATOUR and nothing has changed. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some cereal to pour in my milk," Morikawa tweeted.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: PGA Tour to offer bigger purses, new schedule to counter LIV
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 21, 2022

    The PGA Tour is laying out plans to increase purses at several marquee events and revamp its schedule in an effort to compete with the burgeoning LIV Golf Invitational Series, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

    • PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan unveiled these plans at a players meeting at TPC River Highlands, the site of this week's Travelers Championship.

      Per the reports, the PGA Tour wants to increase the purses at limited-field events in the regular season to at least $20 million and establish a new, lucrative fall schedule for the top 50 finishers in the FedEx Cup standings. Those new tournaments would rotate sites around the world and -- like LIV's tournaments -- have no cut.

      The tour is likely to do away with the "wraparound" schedule from October through September that it introduced in 2013-14, returning instead to a calendar-year schedule. ESPN reported that top players on tour have expressed that there is no real offseason in the current format, with FedEx Cup points on the line in several events in October and November.

      Current events that could see a hefty purse increase include The Players Championship, the Genesis Invitational, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Memorial and the Tournament of Champions. At present, the Players is the largest purse on tour, reaching $20 million for the first time last March.

      The LIV series, backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, offers $25 million purses in its events and is said to have offered nine-figure advances to woo top players like Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.

      Abraham Ancer of Mexico became the latest player to join LIV, while reports Tuesday said that four-time major winner Brooks Koepka is making the jump as well.

      Monahan is scheduled to speak with the media at TPC River Highlands on Wednesday, with the tournament beginning Thursday.

      --Field Level Media

  • The Open Championship: Odds, Preview of golf's next major
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 21, 2022

    The main summertime draw in golf will be the 2022 Open Championship.

    • The July showcase at St. Andrews features a fine collection of talent, including multiple past winners.

      Scotland's historic and breath-taking course is the backdrop for the major anniversary event.

      --Celebrating A Milestone

      The 150th Open Championship will be a spectacle and cause for celebration in Scotland. As a part of the history and tradition of golf, this will be the 30th time St. Andrews has hosted The Open Championship. However, it hasn't hosted the tournament since 2015.

      The field this year consists of 156 players, who qualified through different rounds. Attendance is based on past performances and previous efforts at the championship. Zach Johnson won last year, claiming a four-hole playoff to win his second major title.

      What they aren't likely to see, however, is Tiger Woods picking up another Claret Jug. He won the event for the first time in 2000, but is having difficulty on fairways now because of his recent car accident. Woods already announced his intention to play, calling St. Andrews one of his favorite courses.

      There's little doubt that Woods has the ability and talent, but his stamina and physical health are questions. BetMGM is not expecting a strong performance based on his +4000 to win. Other sportsbooks, such as WynnBET, also went with long odds for Woods at +4100.

      --Fitzpatrick Climbs Up the Ranks

      Matt Fitzpatrick enters on the heels of a US Open victory, having entered with odds of 29-1. He opened at +4000 on BetMGM before the line improved to +2000. BetRivers is offering slightly longer odds, listing him at +2500.

      Fitzpatrick overcame Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Will Zalatoris to win the US Open. They battled to the last putt on the 18th before Fitzpatrick was able to secure the victory.

      Heading into the last major of the year, the victory didn't impact how the books viewed Scheffler and Zalatoris, who are among the favorites to win. Zalatoris opened at +5000 on BetMGM before moving to +2200. Scheffler improved from +4000 to +1200.

      McIlroy continues to come close and finished in the top 10 three times this season, but hasn't been able to seal the deal in the final round. His closest call was a second-place finish at Augusta National.

      Heading to St. Andrews, McIlroy is still the odds-on favorite to win.

      He's done it before, taking the victory with a 17-under in 2014. On BetMGM, he opened at +1400 and then improved to +900. FanDuel and Caesars also currently list him at +900.

      --Dustin Johnson among values to consider

      Dustin Johnson, a 28-1 longshot, finished eighth at last year's Open, one of his four top-10 finishes at the tournament. Johnson is still ranked among the top golfers in the LIV Golf Series.

      Because of his recent performances, there's a lot of value in Johnson. However, the sportsbooks aren't confident of his chances. BetMGM opened him at +1400 before dropping him to +2800. Similar results are found at FanDuel (+2700) and Caesars (+2800).

      Another potential great value is Jon Rahm.

      His performance at past Open tournaments is not impressive - five events and nothing better than 44th place. However, he has been more consistent as the season has advanced.

      Rahm dropped from his initial line of +900 to +1200 on BetMGM. FanDuel and Caesars put him in the same range. Still, with his recent performances, the drop only increases his value for bettors.

      -Field Level Media

  • Women's PGA Championship doubles purse to $9M
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 21, 2022

    The purse for this week's 2022 KPMG Women's PGA Championship has doubled to $9 million.

    • The season's third major begins Thursday at Congressional Country Club in Washington, D.C., with 99 of the top 100 players on the LPGA Tour money list competing in the event.

      The purse doubles the $4.5 million total from 2021, while the winner's share also doubles to $1.35 million.

      The purse was just $2.25 million in 2014, the year before the PGA of America began its collaboration with KPMG.

      "When the PGA of America partnered with KPMG and the LPGA Tour in 2015, we promised to elevate this event by increasing the purse, conducting it at venues with a history of hosting men's major championships such as Congressional Country Club, and delivering broadcast network coverage with NBC Sports," PGA of America president Jim Richerson said in a news release Tuesday. "As part of our shared commitment to support and showcase women's golf, we have delivered on those promises."

      Nelly Korda is the defending Women's PGA champion. She captured her first major tournament victory last year at Atlanta Athletic Club, beating Lizette Salas by three strokes.

      --Field Level Media

  • Nick Faldo to retire from broadcasting
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 21, 2022

    Nick Faldo plans to retire from broadcasting after 16 years with CBS and Golf Channel, which followed a successful career on the course.

    • Faldo, who turns 65 in July, made the announcement on Tuesday, but he will be alongside Jim Nantz in Tower 18 this week at the Travelers Championship. Faldo said his final event will be the Wyndham Championship on Aug. 4-7, signing off 43 years after he made his golf debut at the same event -- then known as the Greater Greensboro Open.

      "After much consideration and discussions late last year with my business manager and more privately with my wife, Lindsay, we together concluded, and I decided that I will step down from Tower 18," Faldo said in a statement Tuesday. "It was a 'great run' since October 2006, when I was privileged to become lead analyst for CBS and have the second-best and highly coveted seat in golf, sitting next to Jim Nantz."

      Faldo said being on the road since he was 18 years old was a big factor in his decision.

      "That's a long run of airports, hotel rooms and restaurant meals," Faldo said.

      A 33-time winner on tour, including six major titles, Faldo said he will dedicate more time to family at his Montana farm and continue his golf course design business. Faldo has designed or contributed to course construction projects in 20 countries.

      Faldo said he informed CBS in January at Pebble Beach of his retirement plans. Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman, 42, was named Faldo's replacement.

      "Sir Nick has had a remarkable career on network television for nearly 20 years and is one of the most accomplished commentators to ever sit in the 18th tower," CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said. "Nick brought the same passion and dedication that propelled him to the world's No. 1 golfer to our broadcasts. He combined his profound knowledge of golf with his wit and charm, enlightening viewers and elevating our coverage. While his voice will be missed on-air, we wish him the best as he continues to positively impact the game of golf around the world."

      --Field Level Media

  • Brooks Koepka set to leap to LIV Golf Series
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 21, 2022

    Brooks Koepka is expected to join the LIV Golf Series and participate in the first event in the United States on June 30, according to multiple reports.

    • Koepka and Abraham Ancer of Mexico are ranked Nos. 19 and 20 in the Official World Golf Rankings but reportedly will depart the PGA Tour for the LIV in the coming days.

      The building current behind the start-up tour would include eight of the top 50 in the OWGR, including Koepka's nemesis Bryson DeChambeau (30th). Ancer withdrew from the U.S. Open last week, citing illness.

      As friction builds between players and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, 17 players have been suspended from playing in Tour events, including Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Presumably, Koepka, a four-time major winner, would be added to the banned list, as would Ancer, 31.

      Spain's Jon Rahm, who said he was offered $400 million to join the LIV, and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy have been vocal in their position against leaving the PGA Tour. But the limited schedule of events and "off course" opportunities are being cited by players who have signed on to the LIV, including Mickelson.

      Monahan was scheduled to sit down with players in Connecticut on Tuesday with a press conference scheduled for Wednesday. The Travelers Championship kicks off Thursday, and Koepka was due to play until he withdrew Tuesday night. His spot was taken by Mark Hubbard.

      ESPN reported the PGA Tour's players advisory council also was meeting Tuesday before the Monahan powwow.

      Koepka is close friends with Johnson, and Koepka's brother, Chase, played in the inaugural LIV event in London.

      Injuries have slowed Brooks Koepka since he was ranked No. 1 in the world for 47 weeks, recording back-to-back wins at both the PGA Championship (2018-19) and U.S. Open (2017-18).

      Koepka, 32, said before the U.S. Open that media was responsible for the uproar over the player exodus to the LIV, and giving the new tour "legs."

      "I'm here at the U.S. Open," he said. "I'm ready to play the U.S. Open, and I think it kind of sucks, too, you are all throwing this black cloud over the U.S. Open. It's one of my favorite events. I don't know why you guys keep doing that. The more legs you give (LIV Golf), the more you keep talking about it."

      --Field Level Media

  • Will Zalatoris withdraws from Travelers Championship
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 20, 2022

    Will Zalatoris withdrew from this week's Travelers Championship on Monday, one day after finishing in a tie for second place at the U.S. Open.

    • Zalatoris' withdrawal from the tournament in Cromwell, Conn., was announced by the PGA Tour. Zalatoris didn't immediately comment on the decision.

      The 25-year-old Zalatoris had a chance to force a playoff at the U.S. Open but missed a 14-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. The miss made Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick the winner at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., and left Zalatoris in a tie for second with Scottie Scheffler at 5-under 275.

      It marked the third time Zalatoris has narrowly missed out on a major title. He finished second at the 2021 Masters and at the PGA Championship earlier this year.

      Though Zalatoris is ranked a career-best 12th in the world, he has to yet to win a PGA title.

      Also withdrawing from the Travelers were Russell Henley and Patrick Rodgers. The PGA said South Africa's Dawie van der Walt, Australia's Brett Drewitt and Joshua Creel have been added to the field as replacements.

      --Field Level Media