In the face of potential fissure in the professional ranks, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour announced a 13-year strategic alliance to combat the emergence of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
In a joint press conference Tuesday with DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said the deal will “significantly enhance the meritocracy that has successfully served the professional game on both sides.”
“It was clear from the outset that our strategic partnership with the European Tour Group was a powerful agreement for both sides, and we are thrilled with today’s announcement of this expanded partnership,” Monahan said in a release. “We will continue to collaborate on a global schedule and key commercial areas as we draw our organisations and memberships even closer together while innovating to provide the most entertaining and compelling golf possible to fans around the world.”
Added Pelley: “It is a natural extension and progression of what we have been doing over the past few years and I passionately believe that this move is the right thing for our players, our tour, our fans, and the game of golf in general.”
According to a release, the PGA Tour will increase its existing stake in European Tour productions from 15 to 40 percent, with an aim to “continue to coordinate a worldwide schedule.” Additionally, as part of the increased alliance, the top 10 finishers on the DP World Tour season rankings will earn PGA Tour cards for the following season.
The DP World Tour will also guarantee growth in annual prize funds to its membership for the next five years, all above the record 2022 levels unveiled as part of the DP World Tour title partnership arrangement announced last November.
However, while the PGA Tour is set to begin a series of co-sanctioned events with the DP World Tour—highlighted by next week’s Genesis Scottish Open—Monahan said there are no plans to add more tour events in European markets at this time.
The announcement comes a week after Monahan laid out wholesale changes to the PGA Tour. Beginning in 2024 the tour will return to a calendar-year schedule, with the FedEx Cup Playoffs reducing its entrants from 125 players to 70. The top 50 finishers will be eligible for three international events in the fall featuring lucrative purses, while the rest of the players will play in domestic fall events to jostle for priority numbers and to preserve their status for the following season among the top 125. Additionally, eight tournaments will receive significant purse bumps: the Sentry Tournament of Champions ($15 million, up from $8.2 million in 2022); Genesis Invitational ($20 million, up from $12 million); Arnold Palmer Invitational ($20 million, up from $12 million); Players Championship ($25 million, up from $20 million); WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play ($20 million, up from $12 million); Memorial Tournament ($20 million, up from $12 million); FedEx St. Jude Championship, the first event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs ($20 million, up from $15 million); and the BMW Championship, the second event of the playoffs ($20 million, up from $15 million).
The announcement was delivered at the same time that LIV Golf was introducing Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Wolff and Abraham Ancer as its newest signees at its event in Portland.