McIlroy Sees European & PGA Tours Agreement A Means To Heal Fractures & Build Cohesion.

Four-time Major winning Rory McIlroy returns to competition this week in Abu Dhabi seeing the first step in a bigger picture European Tour and PGA Tour merge as a means of mending current ‘fractures’ in the professional game.

The European Tour had announced in late November that the long-time rival PGA Tour had acquired a minority stake in the European Tour’s media production company as part of an alliance.

The announcement was seen as a big first step toward developing a more unified golf schedule around the world.

The deal, and including PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan joining the European Tour Board of Directors, effectively makes the two leading tours more partners than rivals.

Europe’s top golfer Rory McIlroy and golf’s top administrator Jay Monahan

This new-found alliance would allow them to collaborate on commercial opportunities and global media rights in certain territories.

While seen as a pivotal first step, any notion of a world tour — which golf executives have contemplated for more than a decade — remains some years away. The immediate goal is to figure out a schedule that keeps the tours from competing against each other and strengthening events on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.

McIlroy was asked his thoughts on the move ahead of teeing-up in this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“It obviously leads to more cohesion of the professional game as a whole,” he said.

“I think at the minute, the professional game is a little fractured. It has been fractured for quite a while. There’s so many different entities. You’ve got the major organisations. You’ve got the tours. You’ve got — I think if anything, what COVID did is sort of help all these entities work better together and understand what their needs are and what the situation they are in.

“I think the majors now understand what the tours go through trying to put on a season-long schedule.

“So I think if anything, it just makes everything a little more cohesive and by the governing bodies and the Tour working better together, I think it will just make it a more streamlined product for the players, for the media, for the consumer, basically for everyone.”

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