Australian Golf on Thursday reaffirmed its “full support” for the US PGA Tour and the European Tour in a rebuke of the Saudi-backed LIV series led by Greg Norman, calling their relationship “stronger than ever.”
The Australian PGA has remained silent since Norman, who has been named the most prestigious annual golf award in Australia, made his debut earlier this month in England at the mega-lucrative LIV Golf Invitational Series.
But chief executive Gavin Kirkman said he’s looking forward to the future alongside traditional European and American tours.
“PGA Australia fully supports the US PGA Tour and DP World Tour as they continue to bring the global golf ecosystem together,” he said in a statement to AFP.
“We are in constant contact with both tours and following the recent conversations (Tuesday), we are looking forward to the future.
“Our working relationship with both tours is stronger than ever as we continue to deliver the best results for our players, fans and the sport in our region.”
His comments follow the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, formerly a European tour, this week a 13-year joint venture announced to form a closer alliance to take on the Norman Series, which has poached the best players with the richest wallets in golf history. . .
It includes a specific path for players to move from the European Tour to the PGA Tour.
As part of the sweeping reforms, the PGA Tour will also return for a calendar year season starting in 2024, which Kirkman said has been a boon for Australian golf.
“The opportunities presented by the calendar year transition for the PGA Tour should pave the way for our Australian stars to return home to participate in our major events,” he said.
“And importantly, we’ve been actively talking to tours about doing events in Australia.”
Two landmark events in Australia this year – the Australian Open and the Australian Tennis Association – are both sanctioned in conjunction with the DP World Tour.
DP World Tour fined and banned its members from the first LIV event, drawing criticism due to human rights violations in Saudi Arabia.
The PGA Tour also suspended players who joined the Rebel Series.
Kirkman did not mention if PGA Australia would follow suit after the reigning Australian Open champions (Matt Jones) and Australian PGA (Jed Morgan) both played in the inaugural LIV tournament.
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