Tuesday October 3, 2023

PGA Championship Tees Off With Intrigue, Questions

  • LIV Golf players are in the field at Oak Hill this week.
  • Ryder Cup captains on site, talking status of LIV players for fall event.
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October 3, 2023 | Podcast
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The second golf major of 2023 begins Thursday with the pro game still at an impasse from the disruption caused by LIV Golf.

The PGA Championship tees off at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. With OWGR points not available on the Saudi-backed upstart tour, major championships are the only chances for some players to earn Ryder Cup points. 

Six players on each team automatically qualify for the Cup, with the other six chosen by captains.

While not ruling out the idea of LIV players at this fall’s edition of the Ryder Cup in Italy, that event’s captains — Zach Johnson (U.S.) and Luke Donald (Europe), both in the field this week aren’t saying much. 

“I think it would be premature and almost irresponsible to even go into that,” Johnson said. “It’s not on my radar right now.”

While LIV players are banned from the PGA Tour, the PGA of America — which organizes the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup (along with the European Tour) — has not moved to make any LIV players ineligible.

The purse for the PGA Championship will be publicly announced during the tournament, but the PGA of America could likely up its prize funds from the $15 million it shelled out last year. 

The Masters boosted its purse to $18 million in April, and the PGA Tour has increased some tournament purses this season to $20 million or more in response to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf.

Meanwhile, the spring weather in Western New York will be a factor for at least the first round, with overnight temperatures in the 30s promising a chilly start for those with the earliest tee times.

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