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PGA, DP World Tours are now united against the threat of LIV Golf

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The PGA Tour struck back in its war with LIV Golf on Tuesday, and it did so by strengthening its alliance with the DP World Tour, formerly known as the European Tour.

The PGA Tour, which has been reeling from the recent defections of several of its star players to the Saudi-backed, Greg Norman-led tour, believes that strength in numbers will help it resist the threat that LIV Golf has presented with its bottomless. financial resources that have been drawing players like moths to a flame.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and his DP World Tour counterpart Keith Pelley held a conference call with reporters Tuesday to announce that their “strategic alliance” has been extended by 13 years as an “operating joint venture partnership.” “.

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“The game of golf is rally,” Monahan said. “Our members, partners and fans are coming together. Today’s announcement should serve as further proof that the professional golf ecosystem continues to innovate and thrive.”

The timing of this announcement, shortly after 2 pm ET, was not a coincidence. It took place at the exact moment LIV Golf was holding player press conferences with its newest additions – Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Matthew Wolff – ahead of their second tournament, taking place this week in the outside of Portland, Oregon.

It was the latest episode in what has become a bit of an argument between the two sides.

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Keith Pelley
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At the same time that the LIV Tour began its first event, Monahan announced the suspensions of all 17 PGA Tour members playing in the tournament. Then, in retaliation, LIV Golf announced Koepka would be joining their tour at the exact time Monahan was holding his State of the PGA press conference last week in Connecticut ahead of the Travelers Championship.

So, it goes on and on.

What does this all mean?

The biggest winner in Tuesday’s announcement was the DP World Tour, and Pelley’s vertigo was a telltale sign of that.

“Our joint operating partnership with the PGA Tour provides us with a degree of security that is almost unimaginable,” said Pelley. “Simply put, together we are stronger.”

With the rumors going around about the DP World Tour possibly jumping into bed with LIV Golf, this was a good opportunity for Monahan and the PGA Tour, because if that had happened it would have been another bad look in a series of them for him and the PGA Tour. lately.

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PGA Tour President Jay Monahan.
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Pelley insisted that “this was always the roadmap” for the two tours to extend their alliance, but admitted that “the existential threat at LIV Investments intensified what we had already planned”.

In this new joint venture, the PGA Tour will increase its current stake in European Tour Productions from 15 to 40 percent, while utilizing the recognized international credentials of the DP World Tour to continue to coordinate a worldwide calendar. This gives the DP World Tour guaranteed growth in the purses of its members.

The biggest advantage to the DP World Tour is that starting in 2023, the top 10 players at the end of the season rankings (in addition to those already exempt) will earn PGA Tour cards for the following season.

In essence, that makes the DP World Tour a feeder program for the PGA Tour, like a European version of the Korn Ferry Tour.

“I’m certainly not looking for us to be a feeder circuit for the PGA Tour,” Pelley said.

However, the reality is that, for decades, Europe’s best players have migrated to the richer and more prestigious PGA Tour, although in most cases they continued to play in Europe’s main events.

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Carlos Caballero/Shutterstock

Interestingly, Pelley was vague about whether he would follow Monahan’s stance and suspend members of the DP World Tour who play LIV events.

“[We] it will not change our rules and regulations and it will not change how we deal with this issue,” Pelley said. “This is a conversation that Jay and I have not had and do not plan to have in the future. We have different rules and regulations, we have different boards and different tournament committees.”

Translation: The DP World Tour, which isn’t as strong as the PGA Tour, needs these players to stay relevant at its events and can’t afford to suspend its members like Monahan has.

Pelley called Tuesday “a historic day for both our tours and golf fans around the world.”

How historic it was remains to be seen. Because as we sit here today, the golf world remains divided, and as long as the PGA Tour suspensions remain in place, they will remain so. And that’s not good for the game or the fans who watch it.

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