Richard Bland: DP World Tour's PGA Tour Deal Is "Awful"

The former British Masters champion fears the alliance between the Tours will weaken the European game

Richard Bland has been critical of the DP World Tour's alliance with the PGA Tour
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Richard Bland has criticised the “awful” deal agreed by the DP World Tour with the PGA Tour, fearing that it could see a talent drain, sending the best players to the US for good.

Speaking to the Bros and Birdies podcast, the former British Masters champion thinks the alliance agreed between DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has also denied European fans the chance to see some of the biggest names in world golf play on this side of the Pond.

Bland now plies his trade with LIV Golf, but feels Greg Norman’s series entering the market provided opportunities to strengthen the DP World Tour. But in coupling up with the PGA Tour, Bland can only see the former European Tour getting weaker, with its best players heading Stateside, while established American stars, banned from playing at home, will not be coming the other way.

Pelley and Monahan agreed an alliance that includes PGA Tour cards for the top 10 players in the DP World end of season rankings. Bland says that will rob the European game of its best players for good, even if they fall off the PGA Tour after a year, while also making it harder to gain ranking points on the now weakened DP World Tour.

Bland told the Bros and Bridies podcast: “Personally, I think Keith has maybe missed an opportunity. I’ve spoken with DJ, I’ve spoken with Bryson, and because they knew the penalties that were coming their way from the PGA Tour and they resigned their memberships, DJ said to me, “look, if Keith doesn’t come down too heavy on you guys, I’ll join the DP World”. I think Keith had an opportunity to get some top players in the world playing on DP World but Jay Monahan has a very, very strong hold on the world of golf right now, and probably on DP World, and it puts Keith in a very, very difficult position and he’s sided with Jay.

“I personally think this deal they’ve just done is awful. How can you give your 10 best players to the PGA Tour every single year? I don’t get it. We’re being hammered with the world ranking points new system, we’re being hammered, you’re getting not even close to the amount you were playing for last year and then you've got to give your 10 best players to the PGA Tour which more than likely are gonna be our highest ranked players, so now you’re gonna get even less world ranking points.

“If you have a young lad, if you had say one of the Hojgaard twins or something like that, if they were one of those 10 cards in the next year, and if they didn’t keep their card on the PGA Tour, which I fully expect them to do, but if they didn’t, they’d probably stay and play Korn Ferry. So they probably wouldn’t come back to the DP World. They’d probably play Korn Ferry because they’d play for more world ranking points there and I can only see the PGA Tour are gonna invest more heavily there, so it’s such a sad thing to say, it would be detrimental to come back to the DP World.”

Bland became the oldest first time winner on the European Tour when he won the 2021 British Masters aged 48 in his 478th start. He has played all three of the LIV Golf events so far, with a T17 finish in London for $226,000 his best result to date.

Jeff Kimber
Freelance Staff Writer

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!