Big money, big names and a bigger field highlight the PGA Tour’s first event of the 2024 season, which begins next week in Maui. On Friday, the tour released the commitment list for The Sentry, with 59 of the 60 eligible players set to compete at Kapalua Resort in a tournament that also doubles as the tour’s first signature event of the year.
The lone eligible golfer missing is Rory McIlroy, who in previous years has skipped the event despite having qualified, in order to begin his season in the Middle East on the DP World Tour. He intends to do the same in 2024.
This year, eligibility for The Sentry, being played Jan. 4-7, has expanded beyond the traditional requirement that players have won a PGA Tour event in the 12 months prior (hence the Tournament of Champions being officially dropped from the name). Winners gain automatic entry into the field, but also any player who finished inside the top 50 of the FedEx Cup rankings in 2023.
Twenty-one of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Ranking will competing in the no-cut event with an overall prize money payout of $20 million.
In addition to McIlroy, the tournament will also be missing its defending champion, Jon Rahm, who rallied from eight strokes back with 17 holes to play in the final round a year ago to win the title by two over Collin Morikawa. The Spaniard, of course, made waves last month when he signed with the LIV Golf League in 2024.
Given that the first LIV event wasn’t until February, questions arose as to whether Rahm might still be able to compete at The Sentry and the American Express later in January, another tournament in which he claimed the title. PGA Tour officials quickly squashed that notion, suspending Rahm from the tour and updating the FedEx Cup rankings from 2023 to take him out of his No. 18 spot and move all others up accordingly. That allowed Mackenzie Hughes to move from 51st to 50th and gain entry into this coming week’s event and all other 2024 signature events.