PGA TOUR, Fla., Feb. 3 (UPI) — The PGA Tour announced it will slash the number of players on its roster by 20% next season, bringing its total to 25 players, including four major-class winners.
The move is expected to cut costs and reduce the number from 28 players to 22, but not before the tour hits a new low of 17-16 in the majors.
The announcement came in a memo from tour chairman John Hennessy.
“The reduction is the result of the continuing decline in participation rates and a need to reduce the total number of golfers on our tours to ensure that our tour can continue to provide the high level of competition and player experience that it has long been known for,” HennessY wrote.
“We recognize that some of our players will still have to make tough decisions about where they will continue to play, but we believe this move will enable our tour to achieve a more sustainable long-term financial model.”
Hennessys memo said the new cutbacks will “address the impact of the recent events and the impact on the business of our tour in 2017.”
He also cited a recent increase in the number and intensity of tournaments for which the tour has cut the number on the roster.
“While the number cutback is significant, it is only a fraction of what we have to work with,” Hennessesy wrote.
In addition to the cuts to the roster, Hennessies memo said it will also reduce the overall budget for the PGA and cut the salaries of staff members by more than $50 million.
It was not immediately clear if the cuts will affect the tour’s 2018 schedule.
The PGR, however, did not release a statement about the cuts.
In a statement on Wednesday, Hennessesys said he hopes the changes will reduce costs and help the PGR achieve sustainable growth in the future.
The tour has already reduced the number by about $3 million, from 28 to 22 players, but it has not released a projected budget for its 2018 season.
The reduced roster is the first since last summer, when the PGC returned to the PBA Tour after a 15-year hiatus.