European Tour chief executive George O'Grady says collaboration with PGA Tour will continue
Last Updated: 15/08/13 2:39pm
George O'Grady: European Tour chief executive insists "collaboration" with the PGA Tour will continue
European Tour chief executive George O'Grady insists "collaboration" with the PGA Tour will continue in the coming years.
O'Grady was reacting to reports which claimed the US tour had made a bid to buy its European counterpart with players said to be frustrated with the European Tour's schedule.
However these reports were dismissed by both European Tour chief operating officer Keith Waters and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.
O'Grady said: "The European Tour has collaborated with the PGA Tour and all other members of the International Federation of PGA Tours on many ventures since we worked together on the formation of the World Golf Championships in 1999. This collaboration will continue.
"At this time when many of our leading members are also members of the PGA Tour it is vital that we continue to work together to ensure the progression of tournament golf throughout the world."
"At this time when many of our leading members are also members of the PGA Tour it is vital that we continue to work together to ensure the progression of tournament golf throughout the world.
"Over the past two weeks, 35 European Tour Members played in the WGC - Bridgestone Invitational while 58 competed in the US PGA Championship.
"We are delighted that our members continue to fly the flag for the European Tour around the world, which not only gives them the opportunity to progress their individual careers but ourselves the chance to explore opportunities to our mutual benefit."
During the BMW PGA Championship in May, Lee Westwood called on the European Tour and PGA Tour to co-ordinate their tournaments to ensure more players did not stay in the "comfort zone" of the United States.
The Wentworth event is the only one of the European Tour's 46 tournaments in 2013 being staged in England, compared to six in South Africa and three in China, with 21 events being held in Europe and 25 outside.
Waters said that the players were already having more input into the schedule, adding: "There is going to be more dialogue with them. We are going to try to plan further ahead.
"The PGA Tour is competition for us and it's healthy because it keeps us on our toes and trying to up our game all the time, but there are times when the Europeans will come back and play and we are going to work around that.
"We don't necessarily want all of the players to play in the same tournaments. We want to spread them around.
"There are probably 20 or so European names, or international names because the South African players are very supportive, and we are going to sit down with them and work a bit more on them supporting their national Opens first, and then see how we can work that into the schedule.
"It's important for us to have those top players committed because we can then go and sell those weeks to the sponsors. Golf has always been the other way around; you try to sell the tournament and then think about how you can get the players there. That's becoming increasingly challenging."