Straka criticizes PGA Tour's limited fields in Signature Events as less competitive

"The bigger tournaments should be bigger fields as well I think."

by Sead Dedovic
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Straka criticizes PGA Tour's limited fields in Signature Events as less competitive
© James Gilbert/Getty Images Sport

Golfers have mixed reactions to the PGA Tour's Signature Events and the changes that will occur next year. It seems that the majority is dissatisfied with what the PGA Tour leaders will implement next year.

PGA Tour's Signature Events attract massive attention, with every golfer dreaming of competing and lifting the trophy. However, only the best succeed in doing so. Sepp Straka has highlighted that smaller fields are not something he's a huge fan of, considering them less competitive. In a media interview, Straka confirmed that playing with 140 or more players is quite tougher, expecting major tournaments to have bigger fields. However, at this moment, the Austrian cannot do much about this.

"I personally don't like the small events. I just think it's less competitive."- Straka said, as quoted by Golf Monthly.

"When you get 140 something guys it's always a tougher environment, tougher - with a cut you kind of have to be ready on Thursday when the bell rings.

The bigger tournaments should be bigger fields as well I think." 

Sepp Straka
Sepp Straka© Cliff Hawkins / Getty Images Sport
 

Straka emphasizes that golfers are hungry for success when competing in full-field events, as they don't often get the chance to compete in big events.

"These tournaments [full-field events] are massive because a lot of the guys, most of the guys, aren't getting in those small-field, big events," said Straka.

"So for the majority of the PGA Tour these tournaments are huge. They kind of are still the majority of the PGA Tour here."

From next year, the PGA Tour has introduced several changes regarding its Signature Events, which have not exactly received positive reactions from fans and golfers. The field sizes for these events will be standardized to 72 players, while there are ongoing discussions about potentially eliminating cuts in all Signature Events. Golf fans, especially the older ones, are not very open to these changes, stressing that these changes are the result of pressure from LIV Golf, but PGA Tour officials believe these changes could bring positive and desired outcomes. 

Another interesting change is that Tiger Woods will have a special exemption due to his amazing performances and achievements in his career. Woods is the most popular name in golf, and PGA Tour leaders wanted to show their appreciation for everything he has accomplished. On the other hand, they are aware that his presence in these tournaments will attract incredible attention and interest from golf fans. Woods is a figure who commands attention both on and off the golf course, so he will have huge importance overall.

Jay Monahan on Tiger Woods

Jay Monahan commented on Tiger Woods and the special exemption, considering it as an option that had been discussed for quite some time. Monahan, having been involved in the golf world for years, understands well what Woods means to the sport of golf. The PGA Tour Commissioner stresses that Woods' presence will improve and elevate the competition. PGA Tour, as an organization, has expressed gratitude to Woods in this manner for everything he has contributed to the Tour over the years, as well as for his support during the period when LIV Golf posed a threat to them.

“It was important to our membership. It's something we talked about with the PAC. It was important to our player directors. It was important to our board. It's important to me because the man, as the exemption says, has won more than 80 events. And I think being able to give him the opportunity to compete in these events, any event he's ever played in, he's made it bigger, he's made it better. He's drawn more eyeballs to it. I think just as an organization, we wanted to celebrate his exceptionalism in that manner."-PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said during a media session.

Golfers, especially those at the top, are disappointed with the changes introduced by the PGA Tour, believing that larger fields create more competitiveness and draw more attention to tournaments. Additionally, events with no cuts are seen as potentially reducing the excitement factor compared to what has been built over the years. Most continue to be disappointed with Jay Monahan and his actions, frustrated with what the PGA Tour Commissioner and others are doing. 

We will see if there will be any further changes and how things will look next year, but optimism seems to be lacking. 

PGA Tour has focused on marketing, popular golfers, and the business aspect. Some believe golf is heading in a direction it shouldn't, but unfortunately, individual fans find it difficult to change things or make much difference. Some things seem pointless to them, with hope for changes to come.

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