A redesign of the PGA Tour will see eight of its main events outside the majors have smaller, limited fields and no longer feature 36-hole cuts.
Known as designated events, these have bigger purses as the PGA Tour aims to keep players from defecting to LIV Golf.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said the redesign “will deliver substantial, must-watch tournaments for fans.”
Rory McIlroy said he “loves” the move, but it has drawn derision from separatist series LIV and its players.
Financially backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to the tune of $2bn (£1.65bn), Series LIV features fields of 48 players across 12 squads and has no no reduction.
“Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Congratulations PGA Tour. Welcome to the future,” LIV tweeted.
The four majors – the Masters, US Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship – and the Players Championship will remain with a full field and suffer cuts.
What are the changes?
The PGA Tour had already introduced 12 designated events for the 2023 season, averaging $20m (£16.5m) and aiming to keep their biggest stars happy.
But more radical changes – to be implemented from 2024 – were announced on Wednesday.
While full details of the designated events have yet to be set – and which eight will fall into that category – the PGA Tour has confirmed they will have between 70 and 78 players.
The field will include the top 50 players from the previous year’s FedEx Cup leaderboard and the top 10 players from the latest points list.
Five players will also be able to qualify through unnamed events.
Top players won’t have to play a mandatory number of tournaments, with the PGA Tour aiming to provide more flexibility.
“The focus will be on the size of the purse, eliminating a cup and distributing FedEx Cup points to sufficiently incentivize the best to participate,” the PGA Tour said.
How did the players react?
McIlroy of Northern Ireland, ranked third in the world, said the changes would make the PGA Tour “more competitive”.
“I want to reward good play,” said the four-time major champion.
“He’s trying to get the best guys against the hot guys, right? I think that creates a really compelling product.”
US world number two Scottie Scheffler recently won the Phoenix Open – one of this year’s designated events – and insists the new format will not lead to a closed store.
“You always have to earn your place here on tour,” added reigning Masters champion Scheffler.
“There are a lot of opportunities for guys to earn their place in these tournaments, whether it’s this year or next year.”
The arrival of the LIV series changed the landscape of professional golf and led to what many have described as a “civil war” in the sport.
Last year, the PGA Tour banned its members who played in a LIV competition with the DP World Tour – formerly known as the European Tour – following suit.
Thirteen LIV players appealed the penalties imposed by the DP World Tour during a week-long hearing early last month, including England Ryder Cup veterans Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.
Poulter said the changes to the PGA Tour redesign look “very similar to another product that has been talked about so much by the media and commentators.”
Westwood also believed the new plans contradicted many of the concerns expressed by the PGA Tour since LIV emerged.
“I’ve spent the last year reading about how good the open fields and cuts are!” tweeted the former world number one.
The decision to remove the cup from more events is “one of the worst things to happen to the game in the last 12 months”, said England player Eddie Pepperell, 32.
“Missing cuts are essential for growth as a professional golfer,” he wrote on Twitter.
“You’d be surprised how much it means to make a cut when your back is against the wall and you’re struggling. It’s a mini win and it begets big things.”