Fighting Words (Golf Style): Pelley Striving To Make European Tour A "Viable Alternative" To The PGA Tour

No, it's not trash talk as we know it, but in his first big press conference as European Tour Chief, Keith Pelley is taking a different attitude public than his more genteel predecessor.

You have to admire the confidence but it also sets Pelley up for some lofty goals.

Phil Casey's
PA Sport report includes this:

"We need to provide a viable alternative to the PGA Tour for our elite, medium and low-ranked players. End of story," Pelley said ahead of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

"We need to be too important to be dismissed from our sponsors, from our stakeholders, from our players. And that means we are going to have to increase our prize purses.

"That won't happen overnight. That's not going to happen necessarily in 2016. You'll start to see it happen in 2017. You'll start to see it come to fruition in 2018. We definitely in three to five years will have a viable alternative, so that players don't necessarily need to go to America to be able to make as much money as they possibly can."

He's focused on the flagship BMW event at Wentworth as Example A for improvement. Note the tone, which is hopeful but also a bit guarded. Not the usual Commissionerspeak!

"The important thing for me at Wentworth is what they do to the West Course. From everything that I have heard, there is significant investment. We are continuing at Wentworth until at least 2018 and if the West Course becomes exactly what they believe it will, and we can increase the prize purse, then perhaps it can be a flagship event going forward.

Casey's story also delves into the effort to get Paul Casey to change his mind about membership.