Billy Horschel has suggestions for how to make the PGA Tour a more interesting and competitive product – and they don’t necessarily include a few invitational-style events for the Tour’s best players in the fall.
orschel’s suggestion for improving the Tour is to lower the amount of Tour cards available.
“I believe we should make the Tour more competitive,” he stated Tuesday ahead of the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour’s season-ending event. “Perhaps we could reduce the number of cards we give out each year from 125 to 100.” We also reduced the number of Korn Ferry Tour cards from 50 to 30. Week after week, you’re getting the best guys. Guys are content to finish on the PGA Tour every year and earn a million dollars or more, rather than pushing to be the best players on the PGA Tour.”
Another suggestion is to alter the payout structure for sporting events. The top 30-40 players make a lot of money, whereas others in lower groups don’t. In my opinion, this virtually eliminates any other tour from competing with the PGA Tour or European Tour.
“I think we’re doing fantastic work, but I think we need to make sure we’re considering all possibilities before making a final choice on the road forward.”
Horschel, a member of the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council, believes he is not alone on the Tour in his viewpoint. He went on to say that “handouts” – whether in the form of appearance money or the Player Impact Program – aren’t the solution.
“If we look at it on a professional level – and I’m not trying to pick on or criticize any other players who are struggling to make ends meet or who may not feel like they’re getting a fair shake — I know how hard I work. On a daily basis, I know how many hours I put in. “I’m quite aware of the sacrifices I’m making to be the best player I can be at this point in my career,” he said. “And when I hear other players say things like, ‘Well, we should get more money, or you guys should look at taking care of the bottom folks,’ are those guys doing the same stuff I’m doing to be the best player they can be?” If they aren’t, why should they be given a freebie simply because they aren’t playing as well as others?
“So it does come across as harsh.” It may appear that I’m attempting to take out the lower-ranked players on both tours, but I’m not. I’m just asking if you’re doing everything you can to be the best player you can be. And if you are, we may need to take a closer look at something. If you aren’t, we shouldn’t be handing you freebies simply because you have a PGA Tour card and aren’t making as much as some of the other players.
“We’ve been lucky that the top guys have brought all this money into the PGA Tour over the generations, and they’ve been rewarded because of their top play.” But we don’t reward mediocrity; we reward high performance, amazing golf.”