PGA Tour "makes bid" for European Tour

2013 08 Tours
Power struggle: European Tour chief exec George O'Grady, left, and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem

Reports suggest world's richest tour wants to buy 'struggling' counterpart

Rumours are circulating this morning in the London press that the PGA Tour has made a sensational approach to buy the European Tour.

According to reports in both The Telegraph and the Daily Mail, the US-based PGA Tour is interested in acquiring its European counterpart as concerns intensify amongst professionals loyal to the circuit on this side of the Atlantic as a result of an increasing lack of playing and financial opportunities.

Over the past fortnight, the PGA Tour has been able to offer over £10m in prize money. The European Tour, meanwhile, hasn't staged a regular event since the M2M Russian Open at the end of July and there is no event this week either. Next week's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles will the first regular European Tour event in almost a month.

The gulf between the two tours has widened exponentially in the past five to six years. As the PGA Tour has prospered with the bewildering but ultimately successful FedEx Cup, the European Tour's Race to Dubai - introduced in 2009 - has not had anything like the same measure of success, and many of the tour's longest-standing events have suffered the knock-on effects of the recession.

The financial disparity, meanwhile, continues to grow and is reckoned to be the single biggest reason for the defection of so many of the European Tour's leading players to the PGA Tour.

Snapping up the European Tour would help the PGA achieve some of its objectives, such as establishing a stronger foothold in the lucrative, emerging Asian golf markets. It would also become a relevant force in the Ryder Cup, with the European Tour and PGA of America sharing responsibility for the biennial match.

Neither organisation has so far commented on the reports by top golf writers James Corrigan and Derek Lawrenson, which are sure to send shockwaves through the game.

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