Jordan Spieth didn’t qualify for the 2018 Tour Championship, and it’s going to cost him.
Yeah, it’s going to cost him the $315,000 he won’t automatically get by qualifying in the top 30 in FedEx Cup points and just arriving to East Lake in Atlanta.
But it’s also going to cost him $20,000 in a fine from the PGA Tour.
Spieth will be fined and/or face a potential suspension of three tournaments for failing to satisfy the PGA Tour’s rule requiring most players to add a new event to their schedule each season. Under PGA Tour rules adopted for the 2016-17 season, a player must add an event to their schedule each season that they haven’t played in the prior four seasons. Certain players — lifetime PGA Tour members, members 45 and older and dual PGA Tour-PGA Tour Champions members — are exempt. Other members can be exempt from the rule if they play at least 25 tournaments in the current season or did in the previous season.
Spieth played 24 tournaments, including the Presidents Cup, in 2017. He didn’t add a new event in 2018, and the BMW Championship was his 23rd event of the season. The Ryder Cup counts toward the 25 (but not as a new event), so he had 24 in the bag. Spieth needed to get to the Tour Championship to secure a 25th tournament. With Spieth projected to No. 31 in the FedEx Cup standings, Spieth won’t get that tournament and will violate the policy.
After his Monday finish at Aronimink Golf Club, Spieth was asked about his violation and his understanding of the rule. Spieth was aware of the problem, and he offered a minor mea culpa for not satisfying the requirement.
“I talked to the Tour a little while back and I didn’t really think much of it and it becomes a situation then, you know, I obviously accept whatever fine it is and move on and try and add one every year but it’s kind of tough,” Spieth said.
He’s not clear what the penalty will be, which isn’t set in stone and somewhat at the discretion of PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. Spieth suggested he could make up not adding a new tournament by adding starts to his fall schedule when the new PGA Tour season starts in October. However, without a name of note to break the policy in the last two seasons, Spieth isn’t sure what happens from here.
“I assume it will either be a fine or I’m adding some in the fall,” he said. “I don’t know if that counts. I’m not sure.”