Andrew Johnston blasts ‘mad’ PGA Tour over loyalty bonuses going to Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy

The PGA Tour, according to Andrew “Beef” Johnston, is exactly like LIV Golf and has been criticized for its Player Equity Program and the growing focus on prize money in professional golf.

Following the PGA Tour’s awarding of bonuses totaling tens of millions of pounds to its top players, Andrew “Beef” Johnston claims that the growing emphasis on money in professional golf is “so damaging” to the game.

As part of its ongoing efforts to fend off the threat posed by LIV Golf, the tour distributed equity packages to its players last month. Since the breakaway league’s founding two years ago, several of the tour’s biggest stars have been enticed to leave by enormous offers, and in an effort to stop them, players were given stakes in PGA Tour Enterprises.

“Career points,” a measure developed by the PGA Tour to account for players’ performance and contributions to the competition over time, were used to determine the equity awards. The big winner was Tiger Woods, who took home an equity package estimated to be worth £80 million.

Rory McIlroy received an equity award of approximately £40 million, while Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth also received deals worth about £25 million each. Players who wish to receive financial benefits from the equity award must stay PGA Tour members for the entire eight-year vesting period, during which time the equity is expected to appreciate in value.

The goal of the initiative is to encourage players to resist LIV Golf’s allure with its massive contracts and prize money pots. However, Johnston, a former DP World Tour winner, feels that the sport is suffering from the financial discourse that surrounds it.

He wrote in Today’s Golfer, “I’m starting to wonder how the PGA Tour differs from LIV Golf.” “Jay Monahan claimed that his Tour took pride in being a meritocracy, offering players clear pathways and rewarding them based on their performance, when LIV first entered the scene.

“Now, in the present, the Player Equity Program is rewarding players with substantial sums of money for their continued loyalty. $100 million to Tiger, $50 million to Rory, and $30 million to each of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.

“In essence, it’s the PGA Tour offering a large sum of money as payment for not taking a large amount from them. Man, it’s insane. The divide is to blame for everything now being about rewarding the top players in the game. It is really detrimental to our sport.”

This season, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf have both had difficulty drawing sizable viewerships; the Masters, for example, had one of its lowest final-round attendances ever. Johnston feels that fans have become jaded with all the talk of money.

“Money comes before player performance, according to everyone I talk to about golf. It’s not healthy,” he went on. The division in golf is driving away fans.

“When attendance numbers for The Masters decline—a Masters that featured Tiger playing, everyone getting back together, an incredible leaderboard, and the return of the most dominant player in the competition—you know things are not going well.

“The game is now more defensive and top-heavy. Similar to football, when a player performs well for his team or faces the possibility of leaving, the club rewards him with a large contract that either increases his value or keeps him on staff.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.