PGA Tour Player Jimmy Walker Expresses Frustration with Schedule Changes
Jimmy Walker, a long-time PGA Tour member, fired off a strong round at the recent Fortinet Championship but found himself unhappy with the schedule changes affecting his livelihood. Walker, who finished the FedEx Cup rankings at No. 124 at the end of the PGA Tour regular season, expressed his displeasure with the Tour’s decision to implement the FedEx Cup Fall series.
In previous years, a ranking of 125 would have allowed players to participate in the playoffs. However, this year only the top 70 players gained entry into the first event, with the top 50 and top 30 making it to subsequent tournaments. This shift in the rules did not sit well with Walker.
“They changed the rules. It’s been 125 forever. Then it’s like, no, it’s 50, or is it 70? It’s definitely not 125. It’s total bullsh**, that’s what I think of it,” Walker voiced his frustration. “I’ve been working for 11 months to finish 125, and it’s like, nope, keep playing. So, I’m going to give it all I’ve got. That’s all I can do.”
Walker, who won the PGA Championship in the past, had shut down his season at the Valero Texas Open last year. With several players leaving for LIV Golf, he jumped to number 43 in career earnings on the PGA Tour. Despite playing in 25 events this season and making 10 cuts with 6 top 25 finishes, Walker finished well out of the top 70.
“They’ve [PGA Tour] done such a bad job communicating what is happening, partly because I don’t think they knew what was happening, honestly,” Walker added.
Walker also linked these changes to LIV Golf and the involvement of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF). “LIV and the Saudis happen and a lot of things change and everybody freaks out and we sign an agreement that stops litigation,” Walker said. “They’re talking about a big payout for the players that have stayed. All of it is blowing my mind. The Tour is doing everything they can to take care of themselves and not for the players.”
The frustrated golfer highlighted the impact of these changes on his ability to participate in certain tournaments, including his hometown event. “I’m not going to get to play Pebble Beach next year, a field that’s always had 180 players and I’m a past champion,” Walker said. “You’re going to tell me I live there, I’ve done how many pressers for you guys and everything you’ve asked me to do and I can’t play my hometown event? It’s really bass-ackwards right now.”
Despite his grievances, Walker stated that he would continue playing in the Fall series to earn his card for the 2024 season. As a 20-year PGA Tour veteran, Walker’s dissatisfaction sheds light on the challenges faced by players amidst schedule changes and the evolving landscape of professional golf.
About the Author:
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.