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Colin Montgomerie has questioned the PGA Tour’s decision to keep throwing
money at its top players through a combination of prize money increases
and other lucrative bonus schemes, labelling it “madness”.
The US-based circuit recently announced significant increases in the financial incentives available to its players in 2022.
They include an increase to the FedEx Cup bonus pool, up from $60m in 2021 to $75m in 2022; dubling the Comcast Business Tour Top 10 from $10m to $20m; upping the Player Impact Program fund from $40m to $50m; and the introduction of the Play15 Bonus Program, which will have a $10m value.
The overall prize money will go up from $367m in 2021 to $427m – increasing the average pursefrom $8m to $9.1m – with THE PLAYERS Championship set to benefit from an extra $5m cash injection, jumping from $15m to $20m.
It all adds up to great news for the world’s leading players… but Monty isn’t convinced that the ‘bonus’ schemes in particular are good for the game.
Speaking in the latest edition of bunkered, issue 190, the Ryder Cup legend said: “I don’t mind people shooting four 67s and earning lots of money but when you’re getting money based on social media and stuff like that, we’re almost into ‘reality TV’ territory. I mean, Tiger’s going to win [the PIP scheme] this year, isn’t he? And he hasn’t hit a competitive shot all year. That says it all.
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“The Players Championship is going from $15m to $20m. I mean, are we really supposed to believe that the best players in the world won’t show up if they don’t get that extra $5m? Give that money to the Korn Ferry or the LPGA or something. It’s money that the best players on the PGA Tour just don’t need. It’s madness.”
In a wide-ranging chat, Montgomerie also revealed he was disappointed by the recent decision by the European Tour to re-brand as the DP World Tour.
“It’s a real shame and as someone who’s a close friend of [former European Tour CEOs] Ken Schofield and George O’Grady, I wonder what they’re thinking,” said the eight-time European No.1. “Seve, too, and everything that he did for the European Tour. I wonder what he’s looking down and thinking about it.
“I mean, there’s not one word about Europe in there anymore. There’s the Challenge Tour, the Legends Tour and now the DP World Tour. Not one mention of Europe.
“I remember back in 1991 when I was starting out. Woosie had just won the Masters, was world No.1 and he was playing in the Scandinavian Masters the week before flying out to play in the US PGA.
“Tell me when that’s ever going to happen again, where you’ve got the world No.1 and Masters champion warming up for the US PGA at the Scandinavian Masters, a stand-alone European Tour event. It won’t because they’ll all have gone to America already.
“Selling the stadium rights, that’s what it feels like. Thank God my club [Leeds United] still plays at Elland Road. Look around the Premier League. The Emirates, the Etihad, the Vitality. These aren’t places anymore. They’re adverts. They’ve given up their identity for the almighty dollar. It’s a shame.”
• Read the full interview with Colin Montgomerie in issue 190 of bunkered, on-sale from all good Scottish newsagents from Friday.
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