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Rory assures golf’s lesser lights

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Rory McIlroy said the PGA Tour’s plans to streamline their bigger events won’t harm golfers lower down the rankings.

The tour has responded to the emergence of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf by focusing on top tier “designated events” in a bid to bring the biggest stars together more frequently.

No plans have yet been agreed for the future evolution of those events but there have been reports that they may feature smaller fields with no cut.

McIlroy, who as a board member of the PGA Tour has been involved in those talks, says he has sensed concern among some lesser-known players about the plans.

“I’ve had tons of conversations with guys that are worried about what events they’re going to play next year and all that. The one thing I said, look, no one’s trying to screw the bottom half of the tour here.
If anything, we’re trying to lift it up,” McIlroy told reporters ahead of this week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club.

The Northern Irishman said it was, however, crucial to have the elite featuring in such events.

“The best players should be playing in them because ultimately the PGA Tour needs to be built around the best players because that’s what will maximize the value of the product,” he added.

“But that doesn’t mean that there’s not great storylines further down that list, which we’re all very cognizant of,” he added.

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