Departing DP World Tour boss reacts to PGA Tour-SSG deal

Departing DP World Tour boss Keith Pelley has sent a memo to members outlining his initial thoughts on the landmark PGA Tour deal with SSG.

Ben Smith's picture
Wed, 31 Jan 2024
Departing DP World Tour boss reacts to PGA Tour-SSG deal

Departing DP World Tour boss Keith Pelley has sent a memo to members outlining his initial thoughts on the landmark PGA Tour agreement with Strategic Sports Group.

The North American circuit announced on 31 January the circuit had approved a deal that will see SSG, a group of US-based investors, commit to an initial investment of $3bn. 

There is absolutely no denying PGA Tour stars who rejected the advances of the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf are in line to benefit financially. 

But questions have been raised over what the deal means for the future of the European-based DP World Tour

As of yet Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which bankrolls LIV, are not involved in the deal. 

That could change down the line if the PIF choose to come on board as minority investors. 

Publicly, PGA Tour officials and representatives of the PIF are still talking but already critics are suggesting the feud is back on given the financial muscle the established circuit now has at its disposal. 

Pelley, who will leave his role in April to take up his dream job in Canada, has attempted to allay some concerns. 

In a memo that was obtained by @flushingit on X, he stated: "Negotiations involving ourselves, the PGA Tour and the PIF are still on-going, and I believe this announcement gives continued momentum to those discussions as well as being an important step to possible overall alignments between all four entities, SSG included."

Pelley also stressed the importance of a 'global' outlook for the world of men's professional golf. 

He added: "Finally, for the avoidance of any doubt, our current strategic alliance with the PGA Tour which guarantees our prize funds and the ten cards initiative remains firmly in place."

Pelley was referring to the fact the leading 10 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings now receive PGA Tour cards. 

The initiative has led to accusations the DP World Tour has becoming nothing more than a 'feeder tour'. Pelley has repeatedly denied the accusation. 

Read the full memo here:

Pelley announced he was stepping down from his role as chief executive in January. He has been at the helm for nearly nine years. 

He will lead Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in his native Canada. 

Pelley stated he chose to remain in his role until April after expressing confidence a deal between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the PIF could be agreed. 

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