World No 8 Rory McIlroy says the game could experience big changes as there are plans in the pipeline for a possible merger between the US based PGA Tour and the England based European Tour.
The pro golf star says the tours compete against one another and the dates are not well aligned, requiring changes.
The PGA Tour and the European Tour are the top two pro golf circuits but they have weekly tournaments, constantly pushing for better ratings, endorsement and top players. For the players, they have to choose which tournamentsthey play. Most European stars play on both tour circuits and established American golfers play European events especially before the British Open.
There is the constant battle to select events and European stars are joining the PGA bandwagon. McIlroy himself has played just three events in Europe this year as he struggles to keep pace with the PGA Tour events.
“To have all these tours competing against each other, and having to change dates, it’s counterproductive. I think everyone has to come together,”McIlroy said.
Lower tier events in the European Tour get fewer high profile representations so players that feature do not get the best competition. The tour circuit is fast losing its relevance as the PGA Tour events keep getting more support and prize money which attracts the best players. McIlroy opines that the European Tour joins the PGA Tour.
“The easy thing would be for the PGA Tour to buy the European Tour and take it from there. They could still run the European events and we’ll have, say, 12 big events a year, outside the majors, a bit like they do in tennis.”
The proposed idea would end the inequality in golf and have tours for top rated players and another for lower ranked stars. A partnership between both circuits is quite logical but a lot of details would require finetuning.