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Michael Stewart has called on the powers-that-be to find a solution to the wealth disparity that has prompted the demise of the EuroPro Tour.
Stewart, who will graduate from the circuit to the Challenge Tour at the end of this season, told bunkered.co.uk of the struggles endured by some of the players on the EuroPro Tour, many of whom have racked up significant debt chasing their dream.
In the meantime, they are left to sit back and watch as LIV Golf throws nine-figure sums at some of the highest-earning players in the history of the game, which has, in turn, prompted the PGA Tour to vastly increase prize money and incentives for its current crop of players.
“It feels like there’s a massive hole in golf right now,” said Stewart, winner of the recent Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters at Leven Links.
“You hear all this stuff about growing the game and all that but it’s not really happening, is it? I mean, the guy in 60th place on the EuroPro Tour Order of Merit this year is going to make around £2,500. That’s just not right. If you’re established on any professional tour, you should be able to make a living.
“How you make that happen, I don’t know. I don’t have the answer to that. But there’s money in the game, I know that much. It just doesn’t seem to be reaching all the places it should, like the EuroPro Tour, the Sunshine Tour, the Alps Tour, even the Challenge Tour, Ladies European Tour and Ladies Access Tour.
“There just has to be a solution. There has to be.”
The Troon man added that he fears several of his contemporaries could be lost to the game following the collapse of the EuroPro Tour.
“You might find that the Clutch Tour and Tartan Pro Tour both become bigger as more players looking to play on them as a result of what’s happened,” he said. “That would be great. They are both fantastic tours and, in the case of the Tartan Pro Tour, what Paul Lawrie has done creating that is absolutely incredible.
“Honestly, the standard of courses you play there is way above anything that you play on circuits like the Alps Tour. They are genuinely the absolute best you could hope to play.
“However, what if there’s a massive influx of players looking to play on those tours? There are only so many spots and, without having Qualifying Schools, how do they decide who gets to play? It just squeezes the whole thing.
“I’m sure it’ll work out in the long-term but, short-term, a lot of guys are going to be left with big headaches and, potentially, tough decisions to make.”
Pic: @mikeystewart7 on Instagram
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