Golf-Australia’s Lee backs ‘tough’ PGA Tour changes

(Reuters) – Reduced fields and no cuts at designated events will be “tough” on players trying to make the grade on the PGA Tour but will ultimately reward good golf, according to Australian Min Woo Lee.

The Tour has approved sweeping changes for 2024 in response to the threat posed by the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit, drawing a scathing reaction from lower-ranked players.

James Hahn, a twice winner on the Tour ranked 305th in the world, told U.S. media last week they were “just another way to funnel more money to the top players in the world.”

Lee, ranked 50th in the world, said he could see both sides of the debate but was adamant it would be good for the game.

“Obviously, if you’re a good golfer and you deserve to be in

the top 70 or whatever people get in that tournament, it’s

an amazing time,” he told reporters.

“And obviously there’s no cut and you can play freely. But, yeah, if you’re outside of that it’s a bit tough … getting those ranking points and not getting the starts of those tournaments.”

Designated events were announced by the PGA Tour last August to get the best players competing against each other more often.

The move came amid the threat posed by LIV Golf, which features limited-field, 54-hole events with no cuts and guaranteed prize money for each golfer.

Leading players, including world number three Rory McIlroy, have said the changes are necessary for the tour to be more competitive.

“It is tough, but I like stuff like that where it’s a goal for me to get that good to get into those tournaments,” said Lee ahead of The Players Championship starting Thursday at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.

“So I agree with it because, I mean, good golf, you got to

play good golf to play in the best tournaments.

“It is what it is. But I guess that’s what the players really wanted to do.”

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)