PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has defended the strategic alliance with the DP World Tour following concerns over the PGA Tour’s newly designated events for 2024.
The designated events will see fields reduced to around 70-80 players and lock up all of the best PGA Tour talent for the majority of the year, including high profile DP World Tour members like Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton and Viktor Hovland.
It means that most of the top Europeans will likely only appear in Rolex Series events on the DP World Tour like the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Dubai Desert Classic, Scottish Open, BMW PGA Championship and DP World Tour Championship.
Monahan stressed that the alliance between the two tours “continues to strengthen” and spoke of the opportunity for 10 DP World Tour members to earn PGA Tour cards. He also maintained that he has been working with DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley “every single day” on helping the European-based circuit and hinted that more benefits are set to come.
“Our strategic alliance with the DP World Tour continues to strengthen,” Monahan said at this week’s Players Championship.
“We’re looking forward it to again co-sanctioning the Genesis Scottish Open along with crossover opportunities at the Barracuda Championship and Barbasol Championship. Our two organizations are working closely on commercial opportunities, and perhaps most exciting this year, the top 10 finishers in the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai will earn PGA Tour cards for 2024.
“Well I think when you look at, you know, both organizations, Keith Pelley has been here, he and his team, the last three or four days. We’re spending a lot of time looking at the DP World Tour schedule and opportunities that we have going forward. I’m not going to comment on those today, but when you look at what has happened over the last couple of years, when you look at this year, you know, the DP World Tour is playing for $141 million in prize funds, which we are underpinning.
“We have made a $100 million investment in European Tour Productions. We as a team are rolling up our sleeves and working with Keith and his team every single day on that important part of the DP World Tour’s business.”
Monahan also said that PGA Tour sponsors are interested in partnering with the DP World Tour, as seen by Genesis sponsoring the Scottish Open, and that there will be more of that to come.
“I think what we’ve done from a co-sanctioning standpoint at Genesis, the two crossover opportunities we have with Barbasol, Barracuda, if you look at the portfolio of sponsors and you look at those that share a relationship with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, our sponsors are interested in partnering with the DP World Tour. You’ve seen some of that. I think you’ll continue to see more of it.
“Ultimately as we go forward, you’ll hear about the benefit of more opportunities because, again, I’m on that board, that’s a commitment this organization has made to the DP World Tour and to its members, and it’s very important to me that we continue to deliver on that. I think the early signs are that we’re on a really good path.”
Rory McIlroy recently called for some DP World Tour events to “get into the mix” as potentially designated, or co-sanctioned, events with the PGA Tour.
“Irish Open. Spanish Open. Scottish Open is obviously a co-sanctioned event now, which is a big step forward,” McIlroy said. “Wentworth. There’s a few obvious ones that stick out.
“You could try to incorporate (them) into more of a World Tour schedule, more so than it just being purely DP World, purely PGA Tour, and trying to sort of combine the two a little bit.”
Jay Monahan also declined to comment on the arbitration panel hearing between LIV Golf players and the DP World Tour where players went against their declined release requests and tead it up in the Saudi-backed opener last year against the DP World Tour’s decision. A verdict is reportedly delayed and could come as late as June.
“I can’t speak to, you know, what’s happening with the resolution panel,” Monahan said. “Our commitment is to Keith Pelley and the DP World Tour and every member out there. So as it relates to what, how this is all going to play out and what we should be feeling about it, I’m going to leave that for you guys to understand, and I’m not going to comment on it.”