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Wednesday
Nov212012

Euro Tour's O'Grady: "We are concerned, but not panicking"

From an AP story by Michael Casey on the exodus of top players to the PGA Tour from the European Tour, Euro Tour head George O'Grady:

"We are concerned, but not panicking," O'Grady said. "We have to improve our game back here in heartland Europe, make our tournaments better and that also means richer. We don't seem to have any problem on the structure in the game in Europe developing the talent. But you want to see more of your talent as much as you can."

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Reader Comments (14)

Wait a minute....I thought this tour had put Finchem's soirée in the rearview mirror?
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
As long as there are events to play in, Europe will continue to develop top players. Their players are dominating the Ryder Cup, have the #1 player in the world and are winning majors. To be sure, when the top players would rather play and live in the U.S., that has to sting a bit. But, the average Euro fan, who looks at the outcomes being produced by those players, probably isn't too upset.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
Hilltop, you are correct. After rereading your post a couple times I find it to be spot. However, from the perspective of the lead administrator, Mr. O'Grady likely finds little solace in your explanation ;)
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Going to be an interesting next couple of years for the Euro Tour in terms of how many top players stay to play there AND it will be a tough economic climate. Cancelling 3 or 4 tournaments last year is a bad omen....lets hope they spread the money around more efficiently.

Timmy's probably gonna be smiling even more by 2014...depending on whether or not a lawsuit emerges from the lever putter crowd but that's a whole different can of worms.
11.22.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
I keep hearing about all the dumb things that Ponte Vedra does. Running the Tour for the benefit of greedy corporate partners at the expense of longtime loyal tour stops; Huge, disgusting salaries; The stupid beyond stupid Reset Cup (har har); crazy, greedy changes to Q school that was a favorite event for dozens of golf fans and family members.

Somehow, with all the greed and ignorance coming out of PVB, the Tour is stronger than ever and Aussies come to play the Tour and don't even bother to fly home to support their events; every Euro with any charisma lives at Lake Nona and plays the PGA Tour.

Tell me again how poorly managed the PGA Tour is.
11.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyder
Ryder, is your comment an indictment of the Tour, or the Aussie's and charisma laden Euro's?

You know, put another way, Hiltop's statement suggests the Euro Tour is a nice little development tour, kinda like the Nationwide Tour.
11.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
My point is that Timmy won. With all the purported greed and buffoonery in PVB, that the PGA Tour has basically become the de facto "major leagues" of professional golf now that all the best Euros have voted with their feet away from Europe.

And yet, the dominant view on this site is that PVB is a byword for greed, horrific decision-making, demeaning the spirit of the game etc etc etc. The FedEx Cup, of course, represents the nadir of crass commerce, corporate greed and PGA Tour incompetence. And yet, I would have to say that most of those Euros who joined the US Tour full time did it among other reasons for a better crack at the FedEx Cup. After all, why would martin Kaymer play some euro events against lousy fields on average courses when he can do that in the US AND earn FedEx cup points and enter the playoffs in the top ten rather than 40th.

Timmy was right all along.
11.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyder
It's all about the benjamins....
11.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Sadly, the regular European tour (the non co-sanctioned events) is turning into a developmental tour. You get a couple good fields in the Midde East to start the year, and you'll get a couple at the end of the year, but the majority of the rank and file events are sad.
11.22.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Hilltop,

I would imagine that the average golf fan in Europe would be disheartened rather than nonplussed by the exodus of European players. The fact that Rory, Lee, Sergio et al will show up to play in the Tractor Pull Classic in East BFE, Alabama instead of the Italian Open (or some other national open) has got to sting. It means less interaction between Euros and their fans, less tv coverage and decreasing money from sponsors. When prize money drops you have fewer quality players show up and the death spiral conitnues. While Europe will continue to produce excellent golfers, its tour is now the equivalent of the Durham Bulls.
11.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterFifth Column
Fifth Column, which do you think is a stronger tour today, Euro or Nationwide? And in 3 years time?
11.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF,

Very good questions. I believe that the Natiowide tour is on more sound financial footing although it has smaller purses. The move away from Q School may help the Euro tour in the long run as players go to Europe to avoid the Nationwide Tour method of qualifying. Regardless, the PGA Tour is now the dominant tour and the Euro Tour is just triple A.
11.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterFifth Column
The PGATour has always been the dominant tour. Maybe when it is over-run with overseas players and a majority of budding Americans have to leave their own country to bolster their chances of playing on their own tour - there might be a return to the protectionism that was beaten down by Seve et al? There should be a world tour! It's a simple as that, really. Greg Norman said it years ago but was roasted. There are no guarantees that any tour will continue into infinity. Golf, the game, is in more trouble for its survival (as we know it) than is generally realized. You can have too much of a good thing. As nutty as I am about golf, I kind of resent the obscene purses that the guys play for these days, especially in times of crippling austerity for so many.
11.23.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
"Crippling austerity" almost always seems to be a direct result of some really lousy decision making at the personal level...
11.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF

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