With the PGA Tour season on hold indefinitely, the Tour is offering some financial assistance to players who will go at least two months without an opportunity to earn a payday of any kind on the world's biggest golf tour.
According to reporting from Golf Digest, the PGA Tour is offering a cash advance on the hypothetical FedEx Cup bonus payout to the the top 150 players in the current FedEx Cup standings. The players can take a cash advance up to half of what their bonus pool payout would be if the season ended now, with a limit of $100,000. The top 150 players in the FedEx Cup standings at the end of the regular season earn a share of the $60 million bonus pool.
The $100,000 cap only applies to the current top 30 players in the standings. No. 31 in the standings earns $200,000 exactly.
Typically, players who finish outside the top 30 in the FedEx Cup final standings do not receive their FedEx Cup bonus money as up-front cash. Instead, they receive it as deferred compensation through their PGA Tour pension, which racks up money for various achievements, including making cuts. Players who finish in the top 30 in the standings earn a mix of cash and deferred income. Only the top 10 in the final standings earn more money up front than deferred income.
With this policy, good just for this season, the PGA Tour will defer half the money for every player in the top 150, with the rest -- up to the $100,000 cap -- available for the advance.
Ultimately, when the PGA Tour season resumes, there will obviously be changes in the FedEx Cup standings that could drastically change how much money a player will actually earn from the FedEx Cup bonus pool. If a player takes the advance based on their current standing and falls by the end of the regular season, they'll owe the Tour the difference.
Players currently outside the top 150 in the FedEx Cup standings will be able to take advances on future earnings from tournaments and pro-am appearances, distribution from the PGA Tour Charitable and Education fund (for basic living expenses only, with proof of no other means to pay) and a hardship distribution from their individual retirement plans.
The Tour also supported of a partial distribution of money in the Caddie Benevolent Fund from endorsement programs specifically for caddies. A total of $250,000 in endorsement money from Valspar for caddies was distributed to more than 100 regular PGA Tour caddies.
Currently, the PGA Tour plans to resume its season on May 21 with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas.