Mon, 18 Jan 2021

PGA, European Tour deal may lead to world golf tour

Field Level Media
28 Nov 2020, 07:19 GMT+10

The PGA Tour and European Tour announced a "strategic alliance" on Friday that will see the two collaborate on global scheduling and could be the first step toward establishing a world golf tour.

The announcement served as a significant blow to the Premier Golf League, the vision of a private group seeking to establish a circuit of events featuring the top players in the world. The European Tour turned down a "very compelling offer" from the PGL, according to chief executive Keith Pelley.

Top players including Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm said earlier this year that they were not interested in moving to the PGL.

As part of the alliance announced Friday, the PGA Tour will acquire a minority stake in European Tour Productions (ETP), the tour's media arm. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monehan will also join the 15-member board for the European Tour.

"Today's announcement is the formalization of a closer working relationship between the Tours in recent years," Pelley said. "It was one which was crystallized earlier this year when both Jay and I were part of the working group containing representatives of the four Majors and the LPGA, a group which helped shape the remainder of the golfing calendar for 2020 during unprecedented times.

"We shared the challenges of working through a year neither of us could have ever imagined and we found definite synergies in many areas of our respective Tours. That gave us the impetus to move forward together and arrive at this momentous announcement we are making today."

The tours will work together in areas including global scheduling, prize funds and playing opportunities for the respective memberships.

While many see this as the first major step toward a world golf tour, Pelley said this "is a partnership and not a merger" and denied that the European Tour is experiencing major financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Emphatically, this is not a merger," Pelley said, per The Telegraph. "I read one tweet (since the announcement) that said a takeover is inevitable because of the situation that we are in. We are categorically not in financial difficulties, that is simply wrong."

"This is great for European golf and I believe that we will look back at this day and look back at this partnership as something that has changed global golf."

England's Ian Poulter was among the prominent players to applaud Friday's announcement.

"Great news for @PGATOUR and @EuropeanTour making an announcement this morning and strengthening the playing opportunities and commercial rights for both Tours," he tweeted

--Field Level Media

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