Lucas Glover still hates the signature events — ‘it’s a money grab’ — and poses questions for Jay Monahan

ORLANDO — Lucas Glover didn’t like the PGA Tour’s signature events when they were announced, he didn’t like them when he won twice late last season to become exempt for all of them this year and he still doesn’t like them after having played in the first four, including at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.

“I don’t like the idea at all,” he said of the limited field, mostly no-cut events with purses of at least $20 million and elevated FedEx Cup points. “It’s selfish and it’s a money grab.”

Glover understands the Tour has been facing an existential threat from LIV and that’s the primary reason for many of its knee-jerk reactions to protect its place as the premier tour for men’s professional golf. But he still claims they didn’t need to hit the panic button.

“Nothing that has happened in the last two years in golf, in my opinion, that will help the game,” he said. “I’ve yet to figure out what’s so bad out here that we had to do all the things we’ve done.”

When someone joked facetiously that it’s really terrible out here, where a record 139 pros earned more than $1 million last season, Glover deadpanned, “I know, it was terrible, we’ve got a bunch of millionaires running around driving three cars and eating really good food.”

He still can’t wrap his head around why the Arnold Palmer Invitational field has been reduced from 120 players a year ago to 69 this year with a cut to the top 50 and ties.

“I’m 44 and I’m getting towards the get-off-my-lawn dad,” he said. “I just don’t see what was so bad out here that we had to do all this. Let’s raise some purses to make sure we keep some guys around but now we’ve eliminated a lot of playing opportunities for some really good players.”

And he suggested what he termed “a smart-ass question” that someone in the media should ask PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan next week during his Tuesday State of the Tour press conference

“Why are the signature events (max) 80 players and only 50 make the cut but our biggest signature event next week is 144 players with a full cut. THE signature event,” Glover emphasized. “It’s very mind-blowing that our biggest signature event has the most players and the biggest cut.”

Glover isn’t passing judgment yet on the Tour’s recent deal with private equity firm SSG that could pump as much as $3 billion into the Tour. He said he’ll sit down and watch all the videos the Tour sends to players at once before forming an opinion. He’s more interested in how it all fits rather than how it’s going to line his pockets. Then he offered another question that he suggested should be posed to Monahan.

“Now that we have a second entity, PGA Tour Enterprises or whatever it’s called, with a new board, does that eliminate the regulations in place that the Tour has or had to ban certain people?” he wondered. “My answer to that immediately would be no, so, there’s your way back.”

While the Tour and PIF continue to take their sweet time negotiating – or perhaps more like not negotiating – Glover can sense the eventual end game.

“I think we’re going to end up with 12-16 events around the world with the top players for the most money and wherever that money comes from – who knows whether it’s private equity or PIF – clearly, that’s where it is headed,” he mused.

Ultimately, he pictures the landscape will look like this: “A few of our big (PGA Tour) events are probably going to fit into that. You’re looking at eight PGA Tour/DP World Tour-style events around the world, three or four LIV-style events around the world and four majors and you’ll have a Tour of the who’s who. I’m very happy I’m close to being done. That’s how I see it,” he said.

Glover has watched the game he loves change — and not for the better — and he doesn’t like the direction that the career he’s invested more than 20 years of his life is headed. But, come on, there has to be something positive that has come from all the turmoil, right?

Glover paused and pondered the question before delivering his answer. “Food’s better,” he said.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek