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Matt Fitzpatrick hits out at PGA Tour over ‘strategic alliance’ with DP World Tour

Matt Fitzpatrick wants the PGA Tour to do more to help the DP World Tour – USA Today /Reinhold Matay

Matt Fitzpatrick missed the cut here at the Players Championship on Friday, but was then unerring with his accuracy in taking dead aim at the PGA Tour and its ‘strategic alliance’ with his home circuit.

The Englishman is no fan of LIV Golf, as he showed by declaring earlier this week that there should not be a path back to the traditional Tour for any rebels who are having second thoughts.

Yet neither does he believe that the decision in Wentworth HQ to eschew the advances of the Saudi-funded league and instead go into what seems to many as “a junior partnership” with the PGA Tour has been particularly beneficial to the DP World Tour.

“I don’t think the ‘strategic alliance’ is everything it’s made out to be,” Fitzpatrick said. “My biggest gripe is that the PGA Tour isn’t doing enough to help build up the DP World Tour.

“I don’t feel like there’s been enough help given to Europe. Whether it’s money, whether it’s starts for players, it’s definitely going to become a feeder tour.”

The introduction of the ‘elevated events’ in the US – worth a minimum of $20 million (£16.6 million) each – has all but mapped out a schedule for the top players up until the end of August. For Fitzpatrick – the 28-year-old who won last year’s US Open – this means that he will probably not be seen on the DP World Tour before the Scottish Open in July.

“I mean, you’ve only got to look at the fields back home, and how many times the top players are going back to play,” he said.

“People will say I’m one of those who have left the European Tour, but I haven’t. I still play over there, but the best players are over here and I need to compete against them as often as I can. I’ll still go back, but I really don’t know how often you can do that when it’s all geared to playing here.

“European guys that play on the PGA Tour that have a commitment that they’ll play January to August, 22 events or whatever it is. The season over here will end and it’ll be like, ‘God, I feel obliged to go play in Europe now, there’s two, three or four events there so I’ll go and play those’ and before you know it, your off season is done in November. There is a sadness, yes.”

In fairness to the hierarchy at Wentworth, due to the financial effects of the pandemic, they had little option but to join forces with their US counterparts after they turned down a LIV takeover. The deal with the PGA Tour has secured a cash injection of more than £100 million and in the words of DP World Tour chief executive director Keith Pelley this “guarantees our prize funds for the next five years”.

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