NCG’s Matt Chivers shares his opinion on why the DP World Tour is about to offload its best talent to another circuit considered to be its friend…
We will discover the true identity of the DP World Tour this week.
The circuit will kiss goodbye to its best talent when the DP World Tour Championship finishes on Sunday.
The likes of Adrian Meronk, Ryan Fox, Victor Perez and Thorbjorn Olesen will be offered the chance to compete in America – the promised land to where many European players have graduated before.
On Sunday, the formerly-named European Tour will feed someone posing as its friend.
What friend takes your most prized possessions for their own benefit, leaving you scratching around for resources you’re already starved of?
The tour announced in August that overall prize money across the 2024 schedule will increase to $117 million, with chief executive Keith Pelley saying the changes guarantee “drama and excitement.”
I’ll just wait for that tumbleweed to roll by.
Players such as Fox and Meronk deserve chances on the PGA Tour. They are more than good enough and should thrive on the bigger stages.
But to actually reward their form with a card elsewhere and encourage them to leave confirms the DP World Tour has accepted its own inferiority.
It is the Championship, as we once pondered on the NCG Podcast, and the PGA Tour is the Premier League. There is no other way of putting it.
On Sunday, the circuit posted on X that Nicolai Hojgaard was in line to earn a PGA Tour spot in 2024 after finishing second at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Do you not hear yourselves?
This is not Q-school. You’d like to think Hojgaard wanted to win another tour trophy at an event full of heritage and prestige, rather than prioritising promotion.
Nicolai Højgaard was ranked 34th in Race to Dubai Rankings before finishing 2nd at @AfricasMajor…— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) November 12, 2023
Which means he’s now in line to receive a PGA Tour card and look at what it means to him! 😍#NGC2023 pic.twitter.com/hDYRYD0whn
This is a tour that doesn’t behave like a tour, perhaps a big club that doesn’t behave like a big club.
While the PGA Tour explored options with the Public Investment Fund, the DP World Tour was scribbling down the “Opening Swing” and the “Back 9.”
We’re talking about an entity that’s produced icons and some of the best players to slip a pair of golf shoes on.
Money obviously talks. America is where the notes are and Europe isn’t, which is why the best continental talent finds itself in the States.
This is why huge prize funds can be pumped into the Travelers Championship and the Wells Fargo Championship – let alone events that mean something like The Players and the majors.
But the likes of McIlroy, Rahm and Viktor Hovland forged their paths and forced their way. They weren’t offloaded by an initiative that only one side benefits from.
The conclusion of play on Sunday is the iceberg and the DP World Tour is the Titanic.
While the best players occupy the limited lifeboats after the crash, the rest will battle next year to become the next passengers to leave the sinking ship.
Is it a good idea for the top 10 players in the DP World Tour rankings to be given a PGA Tour card? Tell us on X!
We dive deep into the golf ball roll back plans!