Jordan Spieth has become the latest high-profile player to admit that the threat posed by LIV Golf has caused substantial changes to the PGA Tour.
Word broke this week that the PGA Tour will move towards reduced, no-cut courses in a $20m (£16m) batch of designated events in 2024. That drew derision from members of the rogue LIV circuit, who feel they have been unfairly punished. for participation in a similar format.
“I would be lying if I said we would have been through this without LIV,” Spieth said. “But at the same time, we haven’t mentioned them in any of our discussions about what we think is best for the tour.
“The tour has been all ears. It has been a player-friendly situation, organized by the players. It’s honestly been a lot of fun being a part of this. I hope we can start off the right way and not have to make too many adjustments because the main thing now is to try to get it as close as possible the first time.”
Spieth, who opened the Arnold Palmer Invitational here in Florida with a 4-under 68, isn’t surprising that he thinks the future of the PGA Tour looks solid. “I’m very supportive,” he said. “Still, you have to play well to be in the best position. It’s a situation where everyone with a full Tour card can play in all events. I think it’s important to note. Then hopefully create a future product blueprint for the next 20+ years that is even better than it has been. I’m trying to be a part of the next 20 years in those big events.
“I think we’ve found a pretty good balance right now of sticking with the story but also making modern adjustments that, in my opinion, properly reward the guys who beat the best in the world week after week.”
Scottie Scheffler, the defending champion, matched Spieth’s first day score. Jon Rahm, who has already won three times in 2023, seems in the mood to continue his excellent run after opening with a 65. The Spaniard finished eagle, bird, bird to claim a two-shot lead.