Some reshuffling appears likely on PGA Tour’s Fall schedule

More Weekly Read: So Far, So Good for ‘Elevated’ Events | Where’s the LIV News and Buzz? | Fore! ThingsThe new year has just begun, but the PGA Tour still needs to determine how it will end. With all the changes to the 2023 scheduled including the designated events, a smaller FedEx Cup playoff field and a return to direct access via a qualifying school, the Tour still has to figure out how things will shake out after the Tour Championship. This is the final wraparound season, meaning the nine fall events that were played prior to Thanksgiving will no longer be part of the following year’s schedule. But what will happen to them? The Tour has previously said those events will serve as a way for players outside of the top 70 in the final FedEx Cup standings—those who don’t qualify for the playoffs—to either continue to play for exempt status (top 125) or improve their position in some way. So far, there have been no details released as to how that will work, other than that the top 70 players are locked into their spots, giving them the opportunity to take the entire fall off. Golf Channel obtained a preliminary fall schedule that shows seven events, although the Tour said nothing has been decided. It is a Ryder Cup year so one of the events, the Fortinet, would be played prior. Others on the schedule were the Shriners, Sanderson Farms, Zozo Championship, Bermuda, World Wide Technology Championship and the RSM Classic. The events that would be out are the CJ Cup—where Rory McIlroy won in South Carolina in November—and the long-running Houston Open.The Houston Open, won by Tony Finau in November, may be returning to its old spring spot on the schedule.Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports A couple of big questions remain from that tentative list. Would the Tour still go to Japan for the Zozo Championship with a diminished field of players? Where would the World Wide Technology Championship be played? It is unlikely to go back to Mayakoba with LIV Golf taking one of its events there. And what about the Houston Open? It’s possible that the Houston Open is awaiting a spring date in 2024, according to the Houston Chronicle.”We have always made it very clear with the PGA Tour that we want to be in the spring,” said Giles Kibbe, the president of the Astros Golf Foundation, following the November tournament. For several years, the Houston Open preceded the Masters until Shell dropped its sponsorship.”There’s a good chance that we’re going to be in the spring sooner rather than later. But there’s no guarantees at this point. We’ll just keep working toward that goal and hopefully get there soon.”It is possible the Houston Open sits out this fall while waiting to see what happens with the Honda Classic in 2024. Honda, which has been title sponsor of the event since 1981, announced that the 2023 tournament will be its last. That means either a new sponsor has to be found or perhaps a different tournament—say Houston—could fill the spot.Another possibility is that World Wide Technology—the Mayakoba sponsor—takes over in Florida?There are plenty of alternatives to consider.

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