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Paul McGinley discusses how golf’s main tours will react to the LIV Golf Invitational Series and assesses Rory McIlroy’s chances of ending his major drought at the US Open…
The current situation in golf is divisive, as it has divided the players, it has divided the fans, it has diluted the product of golf and created a lot of confusion in the game for everybody involved. It’s not a good reflection on the sport.
There’s a strategic alliance that has already been in place for a number of years now between the DP World Tour in Europe and PGA Tour. We are the two dominant tours in the world before LIV Golf came on the scene.
The idea was that at one stage we would go further in that relationship and unite, maybe creating pathways between the two tours and for Europe to take a lead in giving an international flavour to the PGA Tour, with some high-profile events to complement the very American-centric existing platform the PGA Tour currently is.
I’m hopefully that vision is going to evolve and maybe even be accelerated, as happenings with the emergence of LIV Golf over the past month may well have forced the potential of that alliance to become something bigger. The rumours are that Keith Pelley has been playing both sides here, but as far as I know – and I’m on the board – we’re playing one side.
We’re very much engaged with the PGA Tour. Our partnership has worked incredibly well over the past couple of years with some great collaborations on events and shared commercials, like new sponsors for the Scottish and Irish Opens both coming from the PGA Tour’s contact book.
We have outlined plans over the last year or so in terms of what we can do to further value both tours and the members on both, so that’s a pathway we’re on.
Maybe what’s happened over the last month is going to accelerate a bigger partnership than just a strategic alliance. At the moment we’re waiting on that, and there’s conversations going on between those Tours, so hopefully they’re going to come to fruition.
What is clear at the moment, with LIV Golf being 54-hole events and not offering any world ranking points, the guys who are top-50 in the world are slowly going to lose their ranking and fall outside the top 50.
The only guys who will probably be eligible by the time next year comes around at the Masters in April could well be past champions, under the current criteria, because the others may all have fallen out of the top-50. It will be interested to see what is going to happen, as there are so many things and scenarios that can play out.
Behind the scenes there is a lot of turmoil in the game, a lot of divisiveness, and we’re in danger of having a very diluted product. Hopefully we’re going to have a solution where all parties will be happy with some kind of solution, but that’s going to take a lot of time, a lot of negotiation and a lot of will.