Why Are There 2 PGA Tour Events This Week?
The PGA Tour is set for a monster week as 27 of the top 30 golfers in the world are set to tee it up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. The only three not in this stacked field are No. 5 Cameron Smith, No. 23 Joaquin Niemann, and No. 27 Abraham Ancer, all of whom are now members of the LIV Golf roster.
One of two consecutive elevated events, the other being next week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, the Arnold Palmer Invitational has long been one of the best and most exciting tournaments on the golf calendar.
However, as 120 of the world’s best players attempt to tame Bay Hill, another 120 will tee it up at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, although the field for the latter certainly isn’t as prominent.
So why exactly are there two PGA Tour events being played this week?
Why are there two PGA Tour events this week?
This week’s Puerto Rico Open is what’s known on the PGA Tour as an alternate event, one of four such tournaments on the 2022-23 schedule. The others will be played opposite the WGC-Match Play (Corales Puntacana Championship), the Genesis Scottish Open (Barbasol Championship), which is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, and The Open Championship (Barracuda Championship).
So what exactly is an alternate event?
Simply and bluntly put, PGA Tour alternate events are tournaments with weaker fields full of younger and lower-ranked players vying for fewer FedEx Cup points and smaller purses.
For instance, the winner this week at Bay Hill will receive 550 FedEx Cup points and the $3.6 million winner’s share of an overall $20 million purse.
The winner of the Puerto Rico Open receives 300 FedEx Cup points and the $684,000 winner’s share of the overall $3.8 million purse.
But there’s still plenty of value to an alternate event, the most significant being that the winner receives a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, which is obviously a big deal. Plus, these events give lesser-known players a better shot at that first victory.
Prime examples are Tony Finau and Viktor Hovland, both of whom took their first PGA Tour trophy at the Puerto Rico Open, Finau in 2016 and Hovland in 2020.
So that’s why there are two PGA Tour events running this week. Who knows? Perhaps this week’s winner in Puerto Rico will get a shot at Bay Hill a year from now.