Jimmy Walker, a 44-year-old veteran golfer, is voicing his frustrations with the recent changes in the PGA Tour. In an interview with Golfweek’s Adam Schupak, Walker called the changes “bass-ackwards” and criticized the lack of communication from the Tour.
The changes in question relate to the FedExCup and the fall season. In previous years, Walker, who finished the regular season at No. 124 in FedExCup points, would have still retained his full card for the next season. However, starting this season, the Tour shifted to a calendar-year schedule, meaning the fall portion of the season would be an extension of the previous season. This change means that Walker is now playing for his job and must battle to retain his status among players ranked 71 and beyond.
Walker expressed his frustration with the new rules, stating, “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 bulls—, that’s what I think of it.” He emphasized that he had been working for 11 months to finish at No. 124 and was disappointed to be told to keep playing.
Furthermore, Walker criticized the Tour for not effectively communicating the changes and mentioned that he would miss playing at Pebble Beach, an event he has won in the past. The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am has been converted into a signature event with a limited field, and Walker won’t be able to participate. He expressed confusion about recent developments, mentioning LIV and the Saudis and the tour’s focus on taking care of themselves rather than the players.
The Tour announced the changes to the FedExCup and fall season in June 2022. Walker is currently playing this season on a top-50 career money exemption, which he received after several LIV Golf players were removed from the Tour’s career money list. He is projected to climb to No. 118 in points based on his current performance.
Walker’s frustrations reflect the challenges and uncertainties faced by professional golfers as the Tour evolves and adapts. The changes in the schedule and qualification criteria have significant implications for players’ careers and livelihoods. It is crucial for the Tour to improve its communication and keep players informed to avoid confusion and frustration among its athletes.
As Walker continues to compete and give it his all, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact the careers of not only him but also other players in a similar position. The PGA Tour must strike a balance between its own interests and the welfare of its players to ensure the continued success and integrity of the sport.