The PGA Tour heads to the John Deere Classic this week with two weeks left until The Open. While the PGA Tour event gets underway, the second LIV Golf Invitational will be taking place in Portland, Oregon.
As with every PGA Tour tournament in the last few weeks, players at the John Deere Classic are being asked about their loyalty to the PGA Tour. In addition, the PGA Tour has suggested changes to make the tour more friendly to players.
Potential Changes to PGA Tour Formatting
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has made several announcements over the last week which could have big impacts on golf. Yesterday, Monahan and DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley announced the two tours would be working together more closely, as part of a joint venture.
The news was important for the PGA Tour because LIV Golf has reportedly pursued partnering or investing in the DP World Tour over the last few months.
Monahan and Pelley’s announcement comes a week after Monahan outlined a series of changes coming to the PGA Tour last week. Those changes include three new fall events in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East that will have significant purses meant to compete with the LIV Golf events.
In addition to the new events, there are also changes to the way the PGA Tour will operate next year. The tour will return to a calendar format, which will allow players to have time off after the end of the FedEx Cup Playoffs in the fall. The Tour has also increased the purses of eight tournaments throughout the year, and decreased the number of players that qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs to 70.
LIV Golf Heads to Portland
This week the second-ever LIV Golf event will take place at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Portland. Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Kopeka, Abraham Ancer, and Patrick Reed will all be participating in their first events on the new tour after leaving the PGA Tour earlier this month.
All were asked about their decisions to leave the PGA Tour this week amidst controversy surrounding LIV Golf. Reed argued that the PGA Tour didn’t listen to the players enough, and he and Koepka said they’d be able to have more time off.
As those four players, and others like Matthew Wolff who left the tour during the last week, play in their first events, they face the prospect of never playing in the PGA Tour again. Monahan has been clear that players participating in LIV events will be banned from the PGA Tour.
Over the next few weeks, more players will almost certainly join the new tour. It will be interesting to see how the PGA Tour’s changes affect where players decide to play.
John Deere Classic Set to Begin
With two weeks left until The Open at St. Andrews, the John Deere Classic will see several players take a week off before traveling to Europe. Several of the world’s best players are scheduled to play at the Scottish Open next weekend to prepare for The Open.
Webb Simpson and Adam Hadwin will be the favorites this week at TPC Deere Run. Hadwin played well at the U.S. Open two weeks ago. He finished tied for seventh as one of only nine players to finish under par at The Country Club in Brookline.
Simpson finished tied for 13th at the Travelers Championship last weekend and will hope to finish in the Top 10 this week. Simpson missed the cut at the U.S. Open, but finished 27th at the Charles Schwab challenge and has played well over the last few weeks.
This week will also provide an opportunity for players to qualify for The Open in two weeks as it is part of The Open Qualifying Series. As a result, despite many of the players leading the World Golf Ranking already being on their way to Europe, the John Deere Classic will have several storylines to watch this weekend.