GRAND PLANS FOR EURO­PEAN TOUR

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Inside the Ropes -

The Euro­pean Tour’s new boss, Cana­dian Keith Pel­ley (right), is propos­ing a merger with the Asian Tour to pro­vide a “vi­able al­ter­na­tive to the PGA Tour” within the next three to five years. The key will be Pel­ley’s abil­ity to raise the prize money for the new tour – sched­uled to kick off in 2017 – so the next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ing Euro­pean and Asian play­ers don’t au­to­mat­i­cally grav­i­tate to­wards the fi­nan­cially dom­i­nant PGA Tour. No easy task. But Pel­ley’s plan has sub­stance. Con­sider a glo­be­trot­ting tour built around his­toric na­tional Opens like the South African, Aus­tralian, Scot­tish and Irish (and, in time, maybe the Cana­dian) that en­com­pass many of the world’s lead­ing cour­ses and as­pect of the game – like a month-long “links sea­son” cli­max­ing with the Open Cham­pi­onship. If well ex­e­cuted, it would pro­vide an ex­cit­ing sub­sti­tute for a less-di­men­sional PGA Tour. – John Hug­gan

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