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PGA Tour announces four more 'elevated' events for 2023 as part of response to LIV Golf threat

The Phoenix Open, RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo Championship and Travelers Championship will now all have $20m (£17.8m) prize purses; as part of the response to the threat posed by LIV Golf, the PGA Tour's top players have committed to playing against each other at least 20 times a year

Image: World No 1 Scottie Scheffler won the Phoenix Open earlier this year

The PGA Tour has added four additional events to the 13 previously announced 'elevated' events, all of which will have increased purse sizes and guaranteed appearances from top players.

The Phoenix Open, RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo Championship and Travelers Championship will now all have $20m (£17.8m) prize purses and join the four majors, The Players, the three FedExCup Playoff events, the three invitationals (Genesis, Bay Hill, Memorial), the WGC Match Play and the Tournament of Champions as having 'elevated' status.

In spite of the Tour's 'strategic alliance' with the DP World Tour, no European events are elevated for 2023, with the Scottish Open remaining simply a co-sanctioned event.

The four newly-announced events are for 2023 only; four different tournaments could be elevated in 2024.

The concept of elevated events was first announced in August as a response to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series, aimed at bringing the best players together 17 times, including the majors and the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

FILE - Jason Day celebrates after winning the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, May 6, 2018. The Presidents Cup golf tournament begins Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, at the Quail Hollow Club. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek, File)
Image: The Wells Fargo Championship is one of the four PGA Tour events that have been elevated

The PGA Tour's top players are committed to all 17 of these elevated events, and must also play an additional three events of their own choosing.

"Our top players are firmly behind the tour," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said at the Tour Championship in August, where Rory McIlroy won his third FedExCup title.

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"Helping us deliver an unmatched product to our fans, who will be all but guaranteed to see the best players competing against each other in 20 events or more throughout the season. This is an extraordinary and unprecedented commitment, a testament to who these guys are and what they believe in."

McIlroy hits back at Mickelson claims

The announcement comes in the wake of LIV Golf player Phil Mickelson asserting the breakaway tour was on the way up while the PGA Tour was on the way down.

Six-time major winner Mickelson's remarks were rejected by Jon Rahm ahead of this week's CJ Cup, with McIlroy backing up the world No 5's viewpoint as he prepares to defend his title in South Carolina.

"The guys that have went over to LIV, they're the ones that have made the disruption, they're the ones that have sort of put the golf world in flux right now," McIlroy said.

"I guess for them to be talking the way they are, it's bold and it's, you know, I think there's a ton of propaganda being used and all sorts of stuff. I certainly don't see the PGA Tour trending downward at all.

"Ninety-five per cent of the talent is here. You've got people like Tom Kim coming through, that's the future of our game.

"I don't agree with what Phil said last week. I understand why he said it because of the position he is in, but I don't think anyone that takes a logical view of the game of golf can agree with what he said."

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