Who are winners and losers after PGA and European Tours unveil new details of Strategic Alliance?

Tour chiefs Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley revealed some significant changes to the golfing landscape in from September onwards ahead of the WGC St Jude Invitational.

Better together - that was the message from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and European Tour CEO after the latest unveil of the Strategic Alliance between the two circuits.

The deal was first announced late last year, but these details flesh out how the future of world tour golf might be shaped.

Nor was it only what was said which hints at the changes to the status quo - there was also an unspoken sense that this was a reaction to the on-going whispers, rumours and hearsay surrounding the Saudi Arabian-funded Premier Golf League.

While the two tours will undoubtedly remain separate in the foreseeable future, it is clear that from next season there will be change afoot.

Perhaps the most notable are the inclusion of the Scottish Open, with new sponsor Genesis, on the official PGA Tour schedule, the co-sanctioning of two current PGA Tour events on the European Tour, and the more quietly heralded halving of the World Golf Championship schedule (from four to two).

Let's take a closer look at those key changes and then ask who might be the winner and losers going forward.

The big changes

The Genesis Scottish Open will now be co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour.

Meanwhile, the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship will now become co-sanctioned with the European Tour.

All three become part of the FedExCup and the Race to Dubai.

The World Golf Championships become the Dell Technologies Match Play and the HSBC Champions alone.

This week's WGC St Jude Invitational becomes the FedEx St Jude Championship, the first of three FedExCup Playoffs.

What Jay Monahan had to say

"With today's news we can say unequivocally that both the PGA TOUR and the European Tour are stronger than at any time in our history.

"Having the Genesis Scottish Open sanctioned by both tours is a significant step for the global game, and two co-sanctioned events in the United States gives up-and-coming European Tour players an opportunity to perform on the PGA TOUR stage, which will positively impact those tournaments in many, many ways.

"This is just the beginning of what our future product model will look like."

What Keith Pelley had to say

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.

"This is without question a significant day for our sport, certainly for European golf and for global golf.

"It's an important first step. You'll hear me say it over and over again, I think that's exactly what it is. It's a first step. There is much more to come from this alliance.

"(The Scottish Open change) means that in the middle of next summer, with the Open to follow, the greatest golfers in the world will play two weeks in Europe, and that's fantastic for European golf.

"Today is a win-win for everybody involved, and there is an incredibly bright future ahead for not just the European Tour but also for European golf."


The Scottish Open - and Scottish golf

There will be some concerns that fewer Scottish golfers will get the opportunity to play their national Open - fewer British and European golfers too.

But the championship's profile will go through the roof, it will create a sensational fortnight celebrating linksland golf, and will be a huge boost to the economy and tourism.

Little wonder Visit Scotland are delighted.

The Irish Open

It's not entirely clear how or why, but the prize money on offer will be double that played for this year. In fact $6million from 2022.

Mexican golf

The Mexico Championship was lost from the schedule this year, but it will return next year, just without WGC sanctioning.

The Canadian Open

It will return to the PGA Tour after a two year hiatus, presumably pandemic permitting.

Tour players' bank managers

There is a lot of money swilling around golf. Lucky them. Prize money will increase by $35million on the PGA Tour.

Oddly, the PGA Tour still asks us to be bombarded by adverts on its website. Why not just nab some of the player booty instead? (Your correspondent is very naive ...)


The World Golf Championship

The loss of the annual spring and summer strokeplay events is messy and awkward, further hinting that the WGC has never quite found its place in the game.

It's hard to argue that the two remaining events aren't lessened by the loss of the other two.

Premier Golf League

Monahan and Pelley think that, between them, the FedExCup and Rolex Series have stuffed sufficient money in the pockets of elite golfers to dissuade them of a split down the middle of the sport and that this news backs that up.

If this isn't bad news for the PGL then the world's very finest golfers are even more greedy than they already regularly reveal themselves to be.

Which is entirely possible.

So maybe the PGL isn't a loser.

The Saudi International

It looks like it is off the European Tour schedule, but more hearsay at the moment.

Who knows?

Regular tour members

What will journeymen on the PGA Tour make of having to give up half the field to their European brethren?

What will those Euro golfers think of having to fly to the States? It will represent opportunity, but at a cost, both to the purse, to time, and to the number of spots on offer to play in the Scottish Open.

The Asian events

Pelley emphasised that both he and Monahan still view Asia as important to the future of the sport, but there was little he could say of the future. This is less an issue to do with the tours, than the reality of the world situation.

The European Tour schedule

It could not be revealed alongside the PGA Tour equivalent because of the extra difficulties of creating a tour around the world rather than primarily in one country.

But Pelley did intriguingly say: "I can tell you, though, that it's an incredibly strong schedule. We believe it is one of the strongest that we've ever had. There are some new tournaments in there. There are some different things that are in the tournaments."

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