The calendar has flipped and we leave 2021 in the rearview mirror. Bring on 2022.
So what’s new and different in the new year for the PGA Tour?
There’s a new TV and streaming deal in place, so keep that smart TV remote handy. There’s a few tournaments with new dates on the calendar—but the Waste Management Phoenix Open will still ride shotgun with the Super Bowl. And the two major men’s tours are co-sanctioning an event for the first time.
There’s still some familiarity with the schedule. The Players will be in March, the Masters is a fixture in early April, the PGA Championship returns to May for the third time in the last four years, the U.S. Open has its traditional spot in June and all eyes will be on the Old Course for the Open Championship in July.
But there’s plenty of other changes to note, so check them out here.
On January 1, 2022, a new nine-year domestic media rights deal goes in to place for the PGA Tour that will feature a change to PGA Tour Live and how the FedEx Cup Playoffs are televised each year.
CBS Sports is set to broadcast 20 events and begin network coverage with the Farmers Insurance Open. NBC Sports gains rights to all three FedEx Cup playoff events for the first time and remains the Tour’s cable partner via Golf Channel, which will carry early-round and lead-in weekend coverage of every FedEx Cup event. ESPN will debut as the Tour’s digital partner with ESPN+ serving as the distributor of PGA Tour Live beginning at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The Farmers Insurance Open, to be played the last week of January, will have a Saturday finish. With the NFL expanding its season, the NFC and AFC championship games will be played Jan. 30, forcing the PGA Tour’s hand.
Thus, the annual gathering on the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course (with one the first two rounds played on the North Course) in San Diego will be played Wednesday through Saturday, with the final two rounds being aired on CBS and both featuring an 8 p.m. ET finish.
Patrick Reed is the defending champion.
The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Feb. 3-6) and the Waste Management Phoenix Open (Feb. 10-13) traded spots in the schedule, as the PGA Tour’s event at TPC Scottsdale remains in its traditional date of Super Bowl week. Super Bowl LVI is will be at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles Feb. 13 due to the NFL’s new 17-game regular-season schedule.
For the first time, the PGA Tour is co-sanctioning a DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) event, the Scottish Open.
The player field will be a split between members of both Tours and competitors will earn FedEx Cup points — a first for a European Tour event. Likewise, European Tour competitors will have access to the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship opposite-field events and the field will earn points in the DP Tour’s Race to Dubai for the first time.
The World Golf Championships will be sliced in half from four to two, as the WGCs will now be the Dell Match Play Championship and the HSBC Championship in China. The FedEx St. Jude Championship is now the first of three FedEx Cup Playoff events while the Mexico Championship is now a “regular” full-field event.
The 2022 BMW Championship will be played on Wilmington Country Club’s South Course, the first PGA Tour event in Delaware. Exact dates have not been determined, but it will likely be in late August.
It marks a return of professional golf to Delaware. The LPGA Championship had been held at DuPont Country Club in Rockland in front of huge galleries from 1994 through 2004, following the LPGA McDonald’s Championship being there from 1987-93. The Bell Atlantic Classic on the Senior (now Champions) tour had been held just across the Delaware border at Hartefeld National Golf Club, in Avondale, Pennsylvania, in 1998 and 1999.
—Kevin Tresolini, Delaware News Journal
The Presidents Cup in late September 2022 will be at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, so the Wells Fargo Championship in May will be contested for one year at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Maryland.
The PGA Tour’s most lucrative cash grab—the FedEx Cup bonus pool—will lavish even more money on top players, jumping to $75 million from $60 million last season and the next FedEx Cup champion will receive $18 million. Patrick Cantlay won $15 million for his victory in August.
Other bonus schemes designed to reward elite players will also see sharp increases in ‘22. The controversial Player Impact Program grows to $50 million from $40 million. The Comcast Business Tour Top 10—which bonuses top-performing players at the end of the regular season and before the FedEx Cup playoffs—will double its riches to $20 million. The Tour has also created a new bonus scheme from which most members stand to gain. The Play15 program will give $50,000 to every player who makes at least 15 starts.