Loyalty Worth Multi-Millions to PGA Tour Stars Who Stayed

According to James Corrigan of The Telegraph ( U.K.), Tiger Woods is set to receive $100 million and Rory McIlroy will get $50 million, both in equity, for their loyalty to the PGA Tour and for not joining LIV.
Tiger Woods - The Masters
Tiger Woods - The Masters / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The money is part of the Strategic Sports Group funding arrangement with the PGA Tour. 

The report by Corrigan indicates that two-thirds of the $1.5 billion, or about $750 million, will be split among 36 players judged by the Tour to be the most deserving. Rex Hoggard of Golf Channel reported that the total initial player grants will be about $930 million to 193 players.

Apparently, notices were sent to each player on Wednesday the 24th of April.

The PGA Tour, so far, has not released anything to the public by way of a statement.  

One measure of valuing players is what are called career points, which means achievements during the player’s career up to now. Major victories, Players victories, Tour championships, victories of that caliber count for more than a regular PGA Tour victory. Those have more gravitas.

The PIP program established some criteria for rating stars and the value of players to the Tour overall. Woods, according to the Corrigan story, has received $35 million from PIP, and McIlroy has been awarded $30.5 million from PIP.

Woods, with 82 PGA Tour victories, would certainly be considered the most valuable player and likely would receive a very large sum. The $100 million is probably not unreasonable, and it secures his place in PGA Tour history, not that it wasn’t set by his play.

With three FedEx Cup victories, McIlroy has a high value, too. It was estimated by the Telegraph, that Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas could garner $30 million each.

While all this sounds like they are getting a huge sum of money, what they are getting is an equity value of that amount in the new PGA Tour Enterprises organization.

Four years -- according to Corrigan -- from the time that they receive their equity positions, 50 percent will be vested.  In two more years, or six years from now, they would get another 25 percent, and two years later, the remaining 25 percent. 

After the eight-year period, a player can sell his equity in PGA Tour Enterprises, the business created for this program. At each vesting period, players will have to pay taxes on the value they have received.  

To receive the equity, they would have to do certain things to qualify, such as not leaving for LIV golf, meeting the PGA Tour minimum playing requirements, and – this is how Woods can quality for the rest – provide services such as meeting sponsors, doing media appearances and so forth.  Who wouldn’t want to do a meet and greet with Woods?

After the first 36 players, there are another 64 who will divide $75 million in equity, based on FedEx points earned over the last three years. 

There is then a group of 57 players who will carve up $30 million in equity. Their individual amounts will be based on career earnings and the number of times a player finished in the top 125.   

And there is a category for legendary players, like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson and others, 36 in all, based on what is called the career points measure. Equity is granted only to living players. 

Up to 200 players will receive equity payments according to the plan.  

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The remaining funds from the Strategic Services Group investment in the PGA Tour, approximately $600 million, will go to players each season, based on performance, much like the PIP program. Each year, from 2025-2030, $100 million will be awarded to players with the idea that promising future stars can participate in that money. Think Ludvig Aberg or Nick Dunlap.   

Each player has received notice of what he is getting. There is likely to be player reaction beginning this week or next.