Collin Morikawa, Will Zalatoris, Billy Horschel, and Sam Burns may be test subjects in the theory of no cuts for designated events on the PGA Tour. Their situation is playing out for real at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
All four, who are in the top 20 in the world, will miss the cut and not play the weekend, but the rest of the players in the top 20 to 25, are still here, although they may not be at the top of the leaderboard after two rounds.
Here’s how the four missed the weekend: Morikawa (#10 in OWGR) is at 3-over par as is Will Zalatoris (#7). Billy Horschel (#20) is 4-over and Sam Burns (#14) is 8-over. The cut is 1-over.
Kurt Kitayama, who is # 46 in the OWGR, is leading the tournament. But many of his chasers at the end of two rounds are top 20 names including Cameron Young, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Sungjae IM, Rickie Fowler, Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Max Homa and more.
"And it might be that some tournament hosts, like Jack Nicklaus, are in favor of a larger field and a cut and have it at their tournaments."
There are surprises who could threaten, like Adam Scott, who has fallen to 35th in the world but this week is just five off the lead with two rounds to go, and Keith Mitchell, who played so well at Pebble Beach and Riviera and is six behind.
Perhaps what is playing out this weekend is the kind of thing the PGA Tour is reviewing in determining which events might be good for a larger field and which ones benefit from a smaller field of 70 to 80 golfers with no cut.
According to a story on ESPN.com, those who will be eligible for designated events next season include the top 50 players from this year’s FedEx Cup points list, the top 10 players from this season’s points list, the top five players who are not eligible by one of these methods and who have accumulated the most points in regular tournaments; plus winners of PGA Tour full field events, and PGA Tour players in the top 30 of the Official World Golf Rankings. Tournaments also have four sponsor exemptions, which are restricted to PGA Tour members.
That’s a lot of people. Will fields have to be enlarged to handle those criteria? We just don’t know yet.
And it might be that some tournament hosts, like Jack Nicklaus, are in favor of a larger field and a cut and have it at their tournaments.
As of today, there is no official statement from the PGA Tour Commissioner to the public on this topic. However, PGA Tour representatives indicate that Commissioner Jay Monahan is expected to meet with the media next week at The Players.
While much of this is being considered because of the competition of LIV Golf, if future PGA Tour tournaments end up looking like the weekend leaderboard at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the PGA Tour will not have to worry about any other organization stealing its thunder.
The power is with the PGA Tour, and no one needs to look further than the scores at the Arnold Palmer Invitational to prove it.