Rory McIlroy likens PGA Tour future to Champions League, with DPWT taking a fall

After the third round of the Genesis Invitational, Rory McIlroy discussed what professional golf could look like in the near future.



Rory McIlroy carded a 2-under 69 Saturday at the Genesis Invitational, as he remains well off the pace set by Patrick Cantlay.


But instead of talking about his pedestrian third round, McIlroy continued to lay out his vision for the future of professional golf.


Since McIlroy’s cheers for Manchester United, he likened his idea to the UEFA Champions League. This competition invites Europe’s best soccer teams from each league across the continent to contend for the title.


“It would be one tour. I think you would create a tour for the top 80 players in the world,” McIlroy explained.


“Everything feeds up into that one. The way I look at it, it would be like the Champions League in European football. It sits above the rest of the leagues, and then all those leagues feed up into that, and the best of the best play against each other in the Champions League is the way I would think about it.”


The Champions League invites teams from England, Spain, Germany, and every other country within Europe to participate. The number of teams invited from each league corresponds to the overall strength of the league. As such, the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Bundesliga send four teams—the most of any—because of their high pedigree.


Something similar would be applied to golf under McIlroy’s vision. The best players from the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour, LIV Golf, and perhaps the Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour in South Africa would feed into this new global tour. A formula could then be established to determine how many players from each circuit receive entry into this new tour.



“There has to be a component of the southern hemisphere, Australia, South Africa. There obviously has to be a component of the Far East, whether that be Korea, Japan, or China. Obviously, the Middle East as well,” McIlroy added.


“We’ve been going to the Middle East for a long time, but obviously Dubai, Saudi [Arabia], and then working our way from east to west and back into the United States for the spring, summertime. I don’t think it will look too dissimilar to what it is right now, but maybe the front and back end of the year might look a little different.”


Theoretically, this new tour could incorporate events in the Far East and Middle East in January and February. Numerous top players, like McIlroy, begin their seasons in Dubai every January.


Perhaps this tour then heads east, playing in Hong Kong, Malaysia, or Australia in early February before going to the West Coast of the United States. Then, the world’s best can tee it up at the WM Phoenix Open, followed by Riviera, before shifting to Florida in March.


“Say you do a 24-event schedule, four of those being the major championships, so there’s 20,” McIlroy said.


“I’d say 10 or 12 [take place in the United States]. This is the biggest golf market in the world, so you have to consider that. But there’s no reason why we can’t go further afield and play in some of those big markets for other parts of the year. I think it would benefit not just those markets and fans but also the tour as a whole, media partners, sponsors, and everyone else.”



Gideon Canice

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