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Golf’s merit-based system doesn’t guarantee rich tournament schedules for the wealthy.

Golf’s merit-based system doesn’t guarantee rich tournament schedules for the wealthy.

The value of meritocracy in the sport of golf was evident throughout a week of events in Ohio. Prior to the surprising announcement of the PGA Tour and European Tour partnering with Saudi Arabia, U.S. Open qualifying events were being held at 10 locations across North America, with only 45 spots available. Even former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover missed out on a spot after missing a 2-foot putt in a playoff in Columbus.

At the Memorial Tournament, Keegan Bradley and Rickie Fowler, both former PGA champions, were reminded of how much the sport had become a grind for them in recent years. Bradley, in particular, had missed out on being among the elite at East Lake for the Tour Championship multiple times, but he was motivated by being left out of a private meeting Tiger Woods held with top players to work harder and improve his game. His efforts paid off, with a victory at the Zozo Championship and runner-up finishes at other events.

Fowler, on the other hand, had been in a three-year slump but decided to prioritize the big picture of the sport and attended Woods’ private meeting despite knowing he may not have a chance at participating in future events. After reuniting with swing coach Butch Harmon and finishing runner-up to Bradley in Japan, Fowler has seen a resurgence in his game and is back inside the top 50 in the world rankings.

However, not every player’s timing has been on point. Billy Horschel was also in Woods’ private meeting, but has since fallen into a slump, dropping from No. 18 in the world rankings to No. 38, and is now outside the top 100 in the FedEx Cup. Adam Scott also decided to run for the Players Advisory Council but needs to improve his playing to make it into next year’s big show.

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There are only four sponsor exemptions available for each of the $20 million events, making it crucial for players to earn their spots through rankings and qualifying tournaments. Golf has become increasingly competitive, and it is more important now than ever to be in the top 50 in the FedEx Cup. The PGA Tour schedule has never been more appealing, but players must earn their place among the elite.

In conclusion, while the sport of golf is full of ups and downs, one thing is clear: meritocracy is valued above all else. Players must work harder than ever to qualify for the major events, and there is little room for error. The PGA Tour schedule is more competitive than ever, making it important for players to stay on top of their game and consistently perform at their best.

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