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PGA Tour, DP World Tour Strengthen Alliance Amidst LIV Golf Controversy

The world's two premier tours have extended their partnership through 2035.
PGA Tour DP World Tour Partnership

Photo: sportsmintmedia.com

With the LIV Golf Invitation Series gaining steam ahead of its second event in Portland, Oregon this weekend, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour have responded by extending their strategic alliance for 13 more years. The partnership between the two tours first began in November 2020 and will now continue until at least 2035.

"The game of golf is rallying," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said. "Our members, partners, and fans are rallying. Today's announcement should serve as further evidence that the ecosystem of professional golf continues to innovate and thrive."

The timing of the announcement -- just after 1 PM Central Time on Tuesday -- comes as no coincidence at all. At that same time, LIV Golf was conducting player press conferences with newcomers Matthew Wolff, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, and Patrick Reed. A quick jab from Monahan directed at CEO Greg Norman and the Saudi-backed rival tour. Monahan previously announced suspensions for the 17 PGA Tour members taking part in LIV Golf's debut event simultaneously to the start of the tournament.

"While this closer collaboration between our tours was always in the road map of our strategic alliance, it's pretty obvious to say the current situation in golf has significantly accelerated that process," DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley said.

PGA Tour-DP World Tour Alliance Details

As part of the continued collaboration, the PGA Tour has agreed to increase its stake in European Tour productions from 15 percent to 40 percent. Additionally, the top 10 players in the DP World Tour rankings (beginning in 2023) will automatically earn PGA Tour cards, which is the biggest win for Pelley and the players.

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The partnership between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour will likely lead to more global events and a significant uptick in overall field strength. Coincidentally, next week's Scottish Open will feature one of the deepest fields in the history of the tournament. I wonder why.

Along with the extended alliance, the PGA Tour also announced changes to its structure on Tuesday. Starting in 2023, the PGA Tour will increase the number of Korn Ferry Tour players who earn a PGA Tour card from 25 to 30. Plus, the PGA Tour will award cards to the top-five finishers (and ties) at Q-School, reinstating a direct path back to the Tour for the first time since 2013.

"Ultimately for us, it's all about creating the best, most efficient competitive platform for the best players in the world to ... establish context, to establish historical relevancy, and to establish relevancy in the eyes of fans throughout the world," Monahan said.

What It Means

With Norman and LIV Golf attempting to lure more and more players in their direction with each passing day, the PGA Tour NEEDED to find ways to further incentivize both younger and premier talent.

First, Monahan announced significant changes to the PGA Tour schedule in 2024, which features a January-to-August season with purses of $20 million (on average) for eight elite events. Good start.

Now, the PGA Tour will allow more access to cards than ever before, while also strengthening its alliance with the DP World Tour.