DP World Tour Chief Keith Pelley 'Irritated' By Feeder Tour Claims
Keith Pelley has once again categorically denied that the DP World Tour is now merely a feeder tour to the PGA Tour following the strategic alliance.
The two tours formalized their strategic alliance last year amid the entry of LIV Golf, with one part of the deal seeing ten PGA Tour cards being awarded to the DP World Tour's top finishers.
As well as 'feeder tour' claims, there have also been critics who say that the strategic alliance benefits the US-based circuit more so than the DP World Tour, with the PGA Tour's new designated event model set to likely keep the top Europeans over in the US more regularly.
The real benefits for the DP World Tour from the alliance are set to be seen next year, with the DP World Tour planning to announce its revitalized 2024 schedule at July's PGA Tour co-sanctioned Genesis Scottish Open.
"To say that I would be irritated by that comment would be a gargantuan understatement," Pelley told the Golf Channel's Golf Today program upon the feeder tour suggestions and whether the DP World Tour has been diminished by the alliance.
"It's a narrative that our staff is pretty well tired of hearing, you know the fact that we have a pathway to the PGA Tour, which is basically a formalized pathway that's been there for years, is one component of what is a multi-faceted tour with national opens, massive Rolex Series events, the BMW PGA Championship.
"So a feeder tour is the Korn Ferry Tour, which has one specific goal and that is to lead players to the PGA Tour. That is not what the DP World Tour is. So although we have a formalized pathway with ten cards now to the DP World Tour, which we're thrilled about as part of a PGA Tour strategic Alliance, our alliance is far more than just that.
"And as I said, we've had some quick wins but really over time we'll develop a more cohesive strategy as we work closer with Jay Monahan and his team. But I tell you that's the only thing that will irritate me but that's okay, I'm over it."
"To say that I am irritated by that comment would be a gargantuan understatement." DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley didn't hold back when addressing the sentiments that his tour is just a feeder to the PGA TOUR. pic.twitter.com/QmwSNmSg6mApril 26, 2023
It's not the first time Pelley has spoken out against feeder tour claims, with the Canadian questioning whether big Rolex Series events would take place on a feeder tour when speaking ahead of last September's BMW PGA Championship.
“Some of these players have said we are a feeder tour, and even made a suggestion that we are headed towards being the fifth tour in the world,” Pelley said at Wentworth.
“A feeder tour is a tour that exists purely to allow players to get to the next level. The Challenge Tour is a feeder tour. The Korn Ferry Tour is a feeder tour. I'll ask you: Is this week a tournament that is on a feeder tour? A tournament that has sold-out crowds, television coverage around the world in 150 countries, five of the Top 15 players in the world? A tournament with 150 accredited media?
“Was our first co-sanctioned event with the PGA Tour in Scotland, where 14 of the Top 15 players played a tournament, would that appear on a feeder tour? I could go on and on. Italy, next week, for example, with the current US Open champion Matthew Fitzpatrick teeing it up. No, is the answer to all these questions. So can we please just stop the feeder tour nonsense once and for all."
On the subject of Matt Fitzpatrick, the US Open champion and current World No.6, recently made comments that Keith Pelley will likely not have been a fan of.
“I’ll be honest, there is definite sadness,” Fitzpatrick told the Foreplay podcast in March. “I don’t think the Strategic Alliance has been that useful.
“I don’t feel like there’s been enough help given to Europe. Whether it’s money, whether it’s starts for players, it’s definitely going to become a feeder tour.”
A number of LIV players have also criticised the strategic alliance, including Lee Westwood. The Englishman last year said he wasn't convinced by it and claimed that the PGA Tour has "always been bullies."
"I’m not convinced by the strategic alliance because I’ve seen how the PGA Tour has behaved over the years," Westwood said in an interview with the Telegraph. "There’s not been much ‘give.’ They have always been bullies.
"I have been telling Keith [Pelley] and other members of his board how this is all going to go for 12 months now. I told him that getting into bed with the PGA Tour was a mistake."