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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

HILSON: What is the PGA Tour doing?

(Photo courtesy of Wall Street Journal)

The great PGA vs. LIV golf debate was settled, that was until the PGA made recent rule changes.

The superior tour in every aspect has stooped closer to rival LIV’s level with its new no-cut events, golf ball rollback and the ending of the sole match-play tournament starting in 2024.

The no-cut events with limited fields have the look and feel of the LIV golf matches, which entail a no-cut, smaller field, 54-hole weekend where teams and individuals compete for victories. There have been no-cut PGA events in the past, but why bring them back now with the war still raging between LIV and PGA?

The tournaments being featured as no-cut events aren’t Majors or The Players.

However, these events are big enough to allow guys like Chris Kirk, Kurt Kitayama and Taylor Moore to vault themselves into that ever-important Top 50 in the FedExCup and earn a life-altering paycheck.

These new exclusive events would not allow smaller names on the PGA to have life-changing weekends, which these three guys experienced this season already. And with Commissioner Jay Monahan saying there are still ways to qualify for these no-cut events, then what is the point of having them in the first place?

Won’t that play like a normal event anyways, with some players just automatically getting in from the Top 50 in FedExCup standings who consistently make cuts in the first place?

On top of this, the PGA is also cutting out its only match-play tournament, the WGC Dell-Technologies Match Play, which just concluded this weekend, starting next season. The winner of this year’s event, Sam Burns, is not a fan of the tour cutting out the event next year. He expressed his disappointment on Barstool Sports’ Fore Play podcast.

“We get in this repetitive cycle of playing the same type of event each week, and we have the match-play event where every match means so much,” Burns said. “It’s like winning a tournament each match, every shot and every putt means much more. I hope we can find a way to add this event to the schedule.”

The match-play format allows players to go head-to-head in a gritty, intense matchup forcing players to compete against each other at the highest level. In contrast, stroke play focuses more on individual efforts and being better than the field.

Finally, the PGA Tour also wants to ruin the fun of the game by rolling back the golf ball. The rollback means golf balls would be redesigned so players lose yards off the tee. This takes away the advantage that the longest players in the game have: their ability for a department store to be built between their golf ball yards ahead of their opponent’s ball.

Plus, with a newer emphasis on swing speed, players’ ability to add yards through their speed can negate the rollback.

I am a huge fan of watching guys hit missiles off the tee. As golf advances, so do the technology and the swing which allow people to hit the ball faster and harder. I love the feeling of striping a golf ball myself and covering more yardage because I have a swing and ball that allows me to do so.

While golf fans love the PGA more, which TV ratings and overall popularity show, the PGA’s new changes have already received backlash and will hurt the reputation of a tour that has already experienced immeasurable disruption over the last year.

This story was written by Trevor Hilson. He can be reached at [email protected] or @hilsontrevor on Twitter.

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About the Contributor
Trevor Hilson
Trevor Hilson, Sports Audio Producer
Trevor Hilson is from Muskegon, Michigan and he is a journalism major. He is the Sports Audio Producer for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, he plays a lot of golf and gives lessons to his friends. He is excited for the national championship banner going into the Fiserv rafters for men's hoops at the start of next season.

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