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The DP World Tour is said to be considering a partnership with LIV Golf Investments, the organisation backed by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and the pioneers of the LIV Golf Series. The same report also suggests that further integration with the PGA Tour has been made available.
DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley was said to be seen at Centurion Club during the inaugural LIV Golf Series event last week but that is something the Tour vigorously denied: "We are aware of some reports in the media that DP World Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley attended the event at Centurion Club last week," the statement read. "This is categorically untrue as Keith was in Sweden attending the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed tournament."
A spokesperson is said to have declined comment when asked about any discussions with LIV Golf or the PGA Tour.
A partnership between the DP World Tour and LIV Golf Investments is one that could benefit both parties with one closely connected source viewing it as a "safety net to the start-up circuit" whose core product involves only 48 players teeing it up per event.
LIV Golf Investments would provide financial backing that in turn would increase DP World Tour purses and provide some mechanism for players to move freely between Tours. It may also provide some form of qualification to the LIV Golf Series so players aren't solely cherry picked on reputation alone.
Given the DP World Tour entered into a strategic alliance with the PGA Tour at the back end of 2020, it is likely that any partnership, or similar arrangement, would be fraught with legal challenge from the PGA Tour. It is however, one that is expected to be considered seriously given the DP World Tour's historic relationship with Saudi Arabia and the Public Investment Fund - up until this year, the DP World Tour sanctioned the Saudi International event.
“I heard on Sunday that Pelley might be thinking of a U-turn,” said one multiple DP World Tour winner. “I think that is very disappointing. But I’m not surprised." They added: "The motivation for this I think is coming from the pressure Pelley is feeling from tournament sponsors. They won’t be liking the fact that they are losing some of their star players."
Whilst one expressed their dissatisfaction, others have a different opinion. Sean Crocker, a DP World Tour member, told Golf Digest: "We can’t fight the Saudis, and we can’t fight the PGA Tour, so we’re going to be a backburner Tour in the next two years. I think our best opportunity to thrive as a Tour was with the Saudis."
With the DP World Tour said to be mulling a partnership with LIV Golf Investments, a separate deal remains on the table - further integration with the PGA Tour. An exclusive with Golf Monthly revealed the pair are in the "advanced" stages of negotiations.
The specifics of the deal are not yet known but they have already been met with concern. Although the pair entered into a strategic alliance in 2020, many believe they have not felt the benefit they had initially hoped with players no closer to earning PGA Tour playing rights.
Multiple sources have confirmed to Golf Digest that the proposal will be discussed at a series of meetings at the Travelers Championship next week.
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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