Jimmy Walker fired off a strong round at the Fortinet Championship on Moving Day but wasn’t happy afterward. The long-time PGA Tour member is unhappy with the schedule changes affecting his livelihood.
At the end of the PGA Tour regular season, he finished the FedEx Cup rankings at No. 124.
That ranking used to get players into the playoffs, but not this year. Only the top 70 players got into the first event, the top 50 in the second and top 30 into Atlanta for the Tour Championship.
“They changed the rules. It’s been 125 forever. Then it’s like, no, it’s 50, or is it 70? It’s definitely not 125. It’s total bullsh**, that’s what I think of it,” Walker said. “I’ve been working for 11 months to finish 125, and it’s like, nope, keep playing. So, I’m going to give it all I’ve got. That’s all I can do.”
The former PGA Championship winner shut down his season at the Valero Texas Open last year. With players leaving for LIV Golf, he was vaulted to number 43 in the career earnings rankings on the PGA Tour.
The top 50 on the career earnings rankings are given access to a one-time exception for this season.
But Walker did not have his best season this year. Despite playing in 25 events, making 10 cuts and 6 top 25 finishes, he still finished well out of the top 70.
“They’ve [PGA Tour] done such a bad job communicating what is happening, partly because I don’t think they knew what was happening, honestly,” Walker said. “It’s been one way forever.”
Walker correlates these changes to LIV Golf and the Saudi PIF.
“LIV and the Saudis happen and a lot of things change and everybody freaks out and we sign an agreement that stops litigation,” Walker said. “They’re talking about a big payout for the players that have stayed. All of it is blowing my mind. The Tour is doing everything they can to take care of themselves and not for the players.”
“I’m not going to get to play Pebble Beach next year, a field that’s always had 180 players and I’m a past champion,” Walker said.
“I said to Jay [Monahan], what if San Antonio was an elevated event? You’re going to tell me I live there, I’ve done how many pressers for you guys and everything you’ve asked me to do and I can’t play my hometown event? It’s really bass-ackwards right now.”
The 20-year PGA Tour veteran is not happy. Nevertheless, he will continue playing in the Fall series to earn his card for 2024.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.