PGA Tour to help players, caddies in financial need

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The PGA Tour has set up a number of programs to help golfers and caddies who are financially struggling as a result of the suspension of play due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

According to multiple reports, the PGA Tour is offering advance payments of up to $100,000 based on projected FedEx Cup earnings. The sums will then be deducted from season-ending bonuses, provided that play resumes this season.

Among other initiatives, the PGA Tour will also allow players to request advance payments for future pro-am spots and take money from retirement funds. Meanwhile, caddies will be allowed to make financial requests to the Caddie Benevolent Fund.

“From the start, we have pledged to listen and be responsive to the needs of our players in this unprecedented time, when events are canceled and our members’ ability to compete on the field of play – their livelihood – is on hold,” a PGA Tour spokesperson said. “Through the support of our policy board and player advisory council, we’re pleased to have found a creative solution to advance payments to players for current and future performance and/or services, which is consistent with our business model.”

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is indefinitely forgoing his multi-million dollar salary due to the public health crisis, while there have been cuts and pay freezes for other Tour executives.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the US Open is increasingly likely to be put back to August or September.

According to the Rockland/Westchester Journal News, the United States Golf Association wants to keep the event at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, unless state and local authorities deem the region unsafe. An official announcement is expected within the next two weeks.

Winged Foot has already been shut down as part of an executive order issued by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has halted all non-essential businesses statewide in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both the PGA Championship and The Masters have also been postponed until later this year due to the ongoing health crisis, while the PGA and LPGA Tours are on an extended hiatus.

According to reports in the United Kingdom, the R&A is also preparing to postpone the Open Championship, which is scheduled to be held on July 16-19 at Royal St George’s in Kent, England.