Jordan Spieth has become the latest high-profile player to admit the threat delivered from LIV Golf has triggered substantial changes on the PGA Tour.
It emerged this week that the PGA Tour will move towards reduced fields and no cuts in a batch of designated, $20m (£16m) events in 2024. That drew derision from members of the rebel LIV circuit, who feel they have been unfairly castigated for participation in a similar format.
“I would be lying if I said that we would have gone through this without LIV,” said Spieth. “But at the same time, we haven’t mentioned them in any of our discussions on what we think’s best for the Tour.
“The Tour has been all ears. It’s been a player-friendly, player-organised situation. It’s been honestly pretty fun to be a part of. I hope that we can kick it off the right way and don’t have to make too many adjustments to it because the main thing now is trying to get it as close to right the first time as possible.”
Spieth, who opened the Arnold Palmer Invitational here in Florida with a four-under-par 68, unsurprisingly thinks the PGA Tour’s future looks strong. “I’m very supportive,” he said. “It’s still, you have got to play well to be in the best position. It’s a situation where everyone that holds a full Tour card can play in every single event. I think that’s important to note. Then hopefully it creates a future product model for the next 20-plus years that’s even better than it has been. I’m trying to be a part of that next 20 years in those big events.
“I think we’ve found a pretty good balance right now in holding on to the history but also making modern adjustments that, in my opinion, reward appropriately the guys who beat the best in the world week-in and week-out.”
Scottie Scheffler, the defending champion, matched Spieth’s day one score. Jon Rahm, who has already won three times in 2023, looks in the mood to continue his superb streak after opening with a 65. The Spaniard finished eagle, birdie, birdie to claim a two stroke lead.