PGA Tour and European Tour join ties amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rory McIlroy takes a shot

The PGA Tour and European Tour have joined in a strategic alliance which will usher in ‘a significant new era for global golf’.

As part of the agreement, PGA Tour will receive a minority investment stake in European Tour Productions (ETP), the organisation which distributes the UK tour’s content across the globe, and Commissioner of the US-based PGA Tour, Jay Monahan, will also join the European Tour board.

In return, the two governing bodies will work together in several areas, such as global schedules and prize funds.

“This partnership is an historic moment for the game of golf and is a fantastic opportunity for both the European Tour and the PGA Tour to explore ways to come together at the very pinnacle of our sport and work in unison for the benefit of the men’s professional game,” Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, said.

“Today’s announcement is the formalisation of a closer working relationship between the tours in recent years. It was one which was crystalised 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.”

A potential partnership has been in the pipeline for sometime and although the two parties haven’t merged, rumours of a global tour have been hinted at by golf enthusiasts. In June, Pelley told the McKellar podcast that there was ‘definitely a will’ for the two to come together.

Former world number one and member of both tours, Rory McIlroy, suggested he would approve of a merger, saying earlier this year that ‘golf at the highest level needs to be simplified’.

The news comes as the European Tour was forced to reduce prize pots this year in order to mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Pelley added: “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.”

Monahan also remarked that he is ‘looking forward to working together for the benefit of the men’s professional game and for golf fans around the world’.