The two-time tour winner told The Chipping Forecast podcast it “makes no sense” to “just give the best ones away”
Eddie Pepperell says the DP World Tour’s decision to allow ten of its top performing players to leave for the PGA Tour is a “disaster”.
Speaking on his regular The Chipping Forecast podcast, with Iain Carter and Andrew Cotter on the BBC, the two-time tour winner said it made “no sense to me”.
As the DP World Tour this week offered full membership to players who fall to hang onto their PGA Tour cards following the Fall Series events, the leading ten players on the season-ending Race to Dubai rankings, who are not otherwise exempt, are preparing to depart stateside after earning full playing rights on the US tour.
It’s part of the strategic alliance between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour and those currently in the frame to capitalise include Adrian Meronk, Min Woo Lee, Bob MacIntyre, Thorbjorn Olesen and Marcel Siem.
Pepperell acknowledged that the initiative was good from a players’ perspective, but looking at the overall “commercial strategy”, he said: “I personally think it’s a disaster for the DP World Tour. I can’t think of any good business that tries to not retain its clients, if you like. Just give the best ones away. That makes no sense to me.
“But from the players’ perspective, who all have, frankly, ambitions to play on the biggest stage, which clearly now is PGA Tour, it’s good for them.
“Now, it’s one of those things – how long can both of those things be in existence? Because to me it doesn’t seem sustainable that the tour can continue to operate successfully while giving away its best players.
Eddie Pepperell: ‘I’m afraid I don’t like it at all’
“But even equally, the players feel like it’s a good thing. I’m afraid I don’t like it at all. And like you say, it’s extremely formal now to the point where next year, or the year after, these players are all going to be falling back into a very high category on the DP World Tour anyway.
“So there really is no incentive next year for these guys next year to play any tournaments on the DP World Tour other than their minimum events, which I just can’t get my head around as a strategy commercially from the DP World Tour.
“But it is what it is, I guess it’s in return, frankly, from all the investment that the PGA Tour are making, and to be clear, that is going to be well into the hundreds and hundreds of millions across a five-year period. So the PGA Tour clearly want to see some return. Part of the return is getting some very good European players.”
Asked by Cotter whether would take up a PGA Tour card if he found himself in a position to do so in a year’s time, Pepperell added: “I wouldn’t want to take it up and I would have to think carefully about it.
“The issue is if you don’t take it up then you effectively – and this isn’t a reason to take it up in of itself – but if you do take it and you play 15 events you are going to get half a million dollars and you’re coming back the year after with absolute security to play on the DP World Tour.
“That’s a reason to obviously take these cards.”
You can listen to The Chipping Forecast podcast here.
What do you think of Eddie Pepperell’s views? Have the DP World Tour shot themselves in the foot with the Ten Cards initiative or will it actually stabilise its position in world golf? Let me know on X.
Now listen to the From the Clubhouse podcast
Tom Irwin and Steve Carroll debated the latest moves from the DP World Tour on the latest edition of the From the Clubhouse podcast. You can listen here.
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