FILE PHOTO: Jul 25, 2016; Springfield, NJ, USA; A sign at the clubhouse entrance during a practice round for the 2016 PGA Championship golf tournament at Baltusrol GC – Lower Course. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
The PGA Tour is stepping in to assist golfers and caddies who are financially struggling as a result of the suspension of play due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Golf Channel reported Saturday that the tour can advance compensation to golfers based on their performance to date, among other programs.
“Playing opportunities equate to financial opportunities, and we are concerned about the toll that canceled tournaments are having on some of our members,” wrote Tyler Dennis, a senior vice president and the tour’s chief of operations, according to Golf Channel.
By law, the tour can’t pay golfers money they haven’t earned. But the PGA Tour can advance up to $100,000 in bonus earnings per player, based on where he stands on the FedExCup list. Any monies advanced now will be deducted from season-ending bonuses that will be earned, provided play resumes this season.
Among other initiatives, the tour also will allow players to take money from the retirement funds.
Caddies can request financial assistance through the Caddie Benevolent Fund. Additionally, the tour is granting the “partial mid-season distribution of an endorsement program,” according to Golf Channel.
The PGA Tour paused its season on March 12 after the first round of The Players Championship. It’s scheduled to resume on May 21 at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. That could change, based on the fight against the coronavirus.