Ryder Cup Legend Fears DP World Tour Becomes An 'Upmarket Korn Ferry Tour'
Bernard Gallacher fears the DP World Tour's strategic alliance with the PGA Tour could lead to it becoming an "upmarket Korn Ferry Tour."
The three-time Ryder Cup captain made the remark to The Telegraph’s Golf Correspondent James Corrigan. He said: “When I was on the board of the European Tour we always wanted to keep our independence and be able to make our own decisions. But we tried to find ways on to the PGA Tour for our best players.
“There were World Golf Championship events that our top guys could get entry to and if they played well enough in those and the Majors, they could win enough money to qualify for the PGA Tour. But it was only the top end of our players able to do that. But with 10 certain to get their PGA Tour cards now, my fear is that we become a sort of upmarket Korn Ferry Tour.”
Gallacher's comments echo those of LIV Golf player Lee Westwood, who described the DP World Tour as a feeder for the PGA Tour. Westwood was again in the news earlier this month when he resigned from the DP World Tour along with fellow Ryder Cup legends Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter. Henrik Stenson, who was stripped of the captaincy when he signed for LIV Golf, followed suit more recently saying the DP World Tour has "left me with no other choice" but to resign.
That means they can no longer become captains of future Ryder Cup teams and because of the situation, Gallacher, who led Team Europe three times in succession between 1991 and 1995, sees similar runs in the future, starting with Luke Donald. He said: “Because we’ve lost the likes of Westwood and co, I think we’ll need to have captains doing home and away matches, maybe starting with Luke now.”
The first three European Ryder Cup captains led the team for multiple tournaments before moving on. That hasn’t happened since 1995, but Gallacher thinks Donald would be up to the task.
He said: “I know we’ve had so many big European names who have deserved their chance, but it doesn’t make sense just ditching successful captains after one go. The circumstances may now necessitate a change and in Luke we have a decent guy who will do all the preparation required and more."
Gallacher then turned his attention to the resignations of the players, and explained they have no room for complaint. “They must have known this was going to happen when they decided to sign up with LIV," explained Gallacher. "They’ve done it for money and that is understandable, but they can’t really moan because unless there was an agreement with LIV, this was inevitable.
"And when the DP World Tour signed that ‘strategic alliance’ with the PGA Tour and effectively jumped into bed with them, any agreement was impossible.”
Finally, Gallacher explained that the inability of LIV Golf to award Official World Golf Ranking points would harm the Majors in the long run. He said: “LIV not getting any ranking points means there will be fewer of their guys in the Majors.
"The Majors are getting away with it now, but as the exemptions run out, LIV’s presence will dwindle. And that will diminish the Majors because you won’t have the best players competing against each other. The Majors have to stay independent and devise other avenues for LIV golfers.”