Justin Rose gives cautious backing to PGA Tour’s £28m Player Impact Programme
Justin Rose has given a cautious welcome to the PGA Tour’s new Player Impact Programme (PIP), which will reward the game’s most popular stars with a £28million bonus pool.
“If you’re in it,” Rose joked when asked if he was a fan of the programme in a press conference ahead of this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
A PGA Tour spokesperson confirmed to Golfweek, which broke the story, that the PIP began on January 1 to “recognise and reward players who positively move the needle”.
At the end of the season, the money will be distributed among 10 players, with the player deemed most valuable receiving £5.7million.
A player’s value will be determined by the use of six metrics, including their position on the FedEx Cup points list, popularity in Google Search and engagement on social and digital channels.
The concept appears to be a direct response to the threat posed to the PGA Tour by Premier Golf League (PGL), which had outlined plans in January 2020 for 48 players to compete in an 18-event season – with an individual and team format – offering a total prize fund of £183million.
“There are concepts around the world that want to focus on the best players and the best players being together more often, right?” Rose acknowledged.
“And I think with media dollars being so astronomical these days and obviously four, five, six guys always being the ones that are being used to promote the tournament, I guess it’s just a way of trying to sort of incentivise them and help them out, not that they need much helping out.
“But a rising tide lifts all ships. Obviously the whole Tour has benefited very much from a group of guys, but if you really want to think about it, one guy (Tiger Woods) for so long that it’s just a way of maybe saying thank you.
“Obviously there’s lots of ways that that money could also be used in different ways to support the Tour so there’s going to be lots of people with different opinions. Let’s just see what the reaction is.
“You do want to incentivise the top players to create content. It’s very easy for the top players to say no because it doesn’t serve them. So if you are looking at content creation, that’s where it’s coming down to these days.
“So if it serves the fan and if it serves the game of golf, and it gives the guys a much better reason to say yes to something, then it’s probably a good thing for everybody. Hopefully that’s the way it’s intended.”
Using figures from 2019 to illustrate the PIP concept, the top 10 players were Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Rose and Adam Scott.
Former Open champion Henrik Stenson, who will partner Rose in New Orleans in the two-man team event, previously said he did not see “a lot of negatives” with the PGL proposal.
Speaking about the PIP he said: “It’s obviously a combination to premier the guys who will have a big impact on Tour and the tournaments and so on in different areas. So I haven’t really gotten into that.
“I feel at this point that I would be better spending my time on trying to make birdies and getting my game in shape rather than figuring out what to do to try and impact on that side.”
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