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Lee Westwood thinks the PGA Tour’s new initiatives show his hypocrisy as he tries to tackle the emergence of LIV Golf.
In an interview with golf summaryit is John HugganWestwood said his reaction to the Tour announcement this week was to laugh because “there are a lot of hypocrites out there”.
The England native also called the changes a “copy of what LIV does”.
In a announcement On Wednesday, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan made a series of announcements regarding upcoming schedule changes and prize payouts.
Some of the key takeaways from Monahan’s press conference include an increase in the number of high events in 2023, a commitment from top stars to compete in at least 20 Tour-sanctioned events per year, guaranteed minimum earnings for full-time Tour members and expanding the Player Impact program.
“Our top players are strong supporters of TOUR,” Monahan said, “helping us deliver an unparalleled product to our fans, who will be almost guaranteed to see top players compete in 20 or more events throughout the season. “
The breakdown of events featuring the best players will include the high 12 events, the four major tournaments (Masters, PGA Championship, US Open, Open Championship) and the Players Championship. The remaining three events will be determined by players based on their schedules.
Monahan’s press conference came following a players-only meeting with PGA Tour stars led by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
“I think the one thing that came out of it, and I think that was the goal, is that all the top players on this tour are in agreement and aligned on where we should go from there. before, and it was awesome,” McIlroy told reporters Wednesday on the meeting.
High events will each have prize money of at least $20 million.
These changes came amid a number of players leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. The controversial new Saudi government-funded league that has spent money trying to become a major league organization.
By Justin Birnbaum of Forbes, seven of the 10 highest paid golfers so far in 2022 are on the LIV Tour. Woods, McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are the only PGA Tour players on the list. All three have earned more on the course from sponsors than from their tournament earnings this year.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund is committed $2 billion at LIV in May. The series holds eight tournaments in 2022, with plans for 10 tournaments in 2023 and 14 in 2024 and 2025.
The PGA Tour has indefinitely suspended all golfers who participate in the LIV Golf International Series.
Westwood was among 48 players who took part in the inaugural LIV Golf International Series event at the Centurion Club in England in June. He turned pro in 1993 and won two PGA Tour events. England have 25 career wins on the European Tour.