SBD/January 25, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

European Tour Chief Sees "No Need For Panic" With More Players Getting PGA Tour Cards

McIlroy (r) will play in both the Irish Open and the BMW PGA Championship
A “serious problem” for the European Tour could be that “so many of its biggest names are playing more of their golf on the PGA Tour,” according to John Huggan of GOLF WORLD. European Tour CEO George O’Grady does admit to “some concern” over the current trend. But he believes that there is “no need for panic.” O’Grady said, “The best news is that just about every one of our members who has taken a PGA Tour card is still a member of our tour too. We have always retained the loyalty of those playing in the States, and that has not changed.” O’Grady said Rory McIlroy is “a perfect example.” O’Grady: “This year he will play in both the Irish Open and the BMW PGA Championship, neither of which pay him a penny to appear.” Huggan writes it “can be argued that the extent of the current exodus toward the setting sun is of no consequence.” The absence of Peter Hanson, Nicolas Colsaerts and others “half a step down from stardom matters not when it comes to the priority of placing spectators bums on seats.” Still, it is “difficult to blame any of the leading players for choosing to abandon large chunks of a European Tour schedule that lives up to its name less and less.” It is “logistically easier these days to play the PGA Tour than a circuit that is spending an increasing amount of time in far-flung locations in the Middle East and Asia” (GOLF WORLD, 1/28 issue).
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