Xander Schauffele: Having no cut makes it an easier sell to sponsors

With rumblings that a number of the PGA Tour’s ‘elevated’ events are set to do away with a cut and introduce a limited field from 2024, World No.6 Xander Schauffele has stated he is ‘always for a cut’ but understands that having the top 20 players in the world around for all four days makes a tournament a hotter product for sponsors.

The PGA Tour introduced the ‘elevated’ events at the beginning of this season in a power play against LIV Golf, boosting purses to an average of $20million with players committing to playing all but one of the 17 events, plus three more of the player’s choosing, in order to receive his full Player Impact Program bonus, should he earn one.

This week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational is the the fourth ‘elevated’ event of the 2023 season, following in the footsteps of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Genesis Invitational, with the latter two finishing their second rounds on Saturday due to bad light and weather issues.

With LIV Golf offering every member in the field a guaranteed pay day each week – the player who finishes bottom picks up $120,000 – could the PGA Tour be heading in the same direction with its elevated events in order to reward their top stars even more?

“You know, we’re trying to make the best product,” said Schauffele when asked what his ideal field would be for the elevated events.

“I am always for a cut. Emotionally I’m for a cut. There is an aspect of it, I would say, that’s really entertaining for some.

“But at the end of the day a lot of people and kids like to come see the top players play in the world.

“I think it’s also an easier package to sell to the sponsors when you tell them that 20 of the top 20 players in the world are going to be there Thursday through Sunday. I think that’s an easier package to sell when it comes to sort of what makes the best product.

“And then size of field, I mean, you start looking at the issues we start to have on the West Coast. We can’t even finish tournaments on time. We’re waking up at 5 a.m., we’re teeing off easier, we’re missing sort of windows on television that aren’t ideal. So I’m no expert on what size that would be. Smaller than not, probably. But you can start to create sort of a better product by you start ticking off those boxes and then solve it from there.”

This week’s field at Bay Hill sees 44 of the top 50 players on the Official World Golf Ranking tee it up – no tournament has featured more of the top 50 since last year’s Open Championship. Joining the top 50 in the field will be Dubai-based Adrian Meronk, who will be making his third consecutive start on the PGA Tour.

Share this article
What's in the bag
Swing Sequence

Brian Harman Swing Sequence

By Jonathan Craddock, PGA Professional, Pete Cowen Academy The 2023 Open...

Wyndham Clark Swing Sequence

By Jonathan Craddock, PGA Professional, Pete Cowen Academy One of the...

Related articles

1 week ago

Rory McIlroy removed US Open scars at Home of Golf

Rory McIlroy rebounded from his US Open disappointment to make a...

Rayhan Thomas Takes Morocco In His Stride

Rayhan Thomas is making waves at the International Series Morocco after...