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Keith Pelley has refused to rule out a return to the Ryder Cup for European LIV golfers who resigned from the DP World Tour.
In a hastily arranged press conference with a small group of media, the chief executive of the DP World Tour was quizzed on a wide range of topics, with the subject of Ryder Cup eligibility coming up twice.
The Canadian, who was keen to state how today’s announcement was a great success for world golf, outlined the process those who resigned would need to take if they hoped to get back in the fold for the event.
First, he said, there was only two criteria to come into captain Luke Donald’s thoughts.
“As far as the Ryder Cup, there are only two criteria to being a Ryder Cup player. You have to be European and you have to be a DP World Tour member,” he explained.
“After that, you can qualify or Luke can select you.”
When questioned further on whether there was enough time for those who resigned to reverse their decision in time to be picked for the Marco Simone showdown, he had this to say:
“In terms of the rules and regulations, they chose to resign. Currently, they’re not members so they’re not eligible to be on the Ryder Cup team.
“They haven’t requested reinstatement, but they may request it. That would have to be an exceptional circumstance to allow them to reinstate their membership, based on the rules and regulations, as the deadline [for Ryder Cup eligibility] is May 1st.
“However, I can emphatically tell you that if they were to ask for reinstatement and we were to consider it, regardless they would still need to serve their suspensions and pay their fines.”
When further questioned on whether those who have resigned, a group which includes Sergio Garcia, the record point scorer for the competition, could make future Ryder Cup teams, Pelley outlined a potential pathway.
“They would have to do a number of things. They would have to request to be reinstated, they would have to serve their suspension and they would have to pay their fines and then they would have to qualify or be selected by Luke.
“We would have to determine that we wanted to change our rules and regulations that state you have to be a member by May 1st.”
Pelley touched on several other topics in the Q&A session, which lasted just under half an hour.
The DP World Tour chief, who said he was “excited and energised” by today’s news, wouldn’t be drawn on when discussions started, but said that his executive leadership team were thrilled when he brought the proposal to them this morning.
“I don’t remember seeing Thomas Bjorn that happy for a long time,” he quipped.
As well as that, Pelley hinted that the planned release of the DP World Tour’s schedule for 2024, which was set for this year’s Genesis Scottish Open, might now be in jeopardy.
“We had a schedule that we were getting ready to release at the Genesis Scottish Open, but that changed this morning,” he explained.
“Now, we’re going to take some time to evaluate and have some conversations around the changes we’ll be making in 2024. We’d like to get a framework out by the Genesis Scottish Open, but these are live conversations.”
On the topic of prize money in the game, Pelley was coy on what it meant for current DP World Tour players, but hinted that they weren’t likely to be left out of pocket.
“This is a win for global professional golf, for European golf and for the DP World Tour. We’re going to work together on scheduling, we’re going to work together on revenue development.
“When you look at being equity partners with the PIF and the PGA Tour, for ourselves, that’s a great opportunity for us.
“When you talk about prize money you think about the membership. Our important, key performance index is prize funds and playing opportunities and I think our members will be in good form going forward.”
While Pelley couldn’t share every detail, some being confidential and others being still unknown, one thing is clear. The DP World Tour’s chief seems 100% onboard with the latest development in professional golf.
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