May 30, 2023

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How Europe (and the Soudal Open) Victim of Golf’s Power Struggle | golf

The arrival of the LIV Tour has disrupted the golf world. The European Tour appears to have been one of the casualties, and that is also evident this week at the Soudal Open. For example, Thomas Pieters is missing in the Belgian golf tournament.

DP World, golf’s “European Tour,” landed in Belgium this week for the Soudal Open. So, for the best golf you should be at the Rinkven Golf Course from Thursday. Four days of party golf in Belgium, but the DP World Tour is fighting for its future.

With the creation of the controversial LIV golf tour, the European Tour has lost some of its best players – including Thomas Peters. It was supposed to be the Soudal Open banner, but this week the LIV Championship will be played in the United States.

The tournament committee must soon decide what to do with the “dissenters”. Last week, legends like Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood canceled their memberships.

The judge followed DP World’s decision to penalize players who took part in the LIV Tour without permission last year. But the main question now is, will players also be banned in the future?

The American PGA Tour has done it and is also requested by a group of loyal European golfers, but does the DP World Tour have the luxury of banishing these players with name and notoriety?

Reforms in the United States are felt in Europe

Because in response to the arrival of the LIV Tour, the PGA Tour, the most popular and lucrative tour for years, is pulling out all the stops: higher prize money and more mandatory tournaments for the top players.

This can be felt in Europe. Those mandatory tournaments and the final weeks of the PGA Tour (where the winner can win $18 million) have an impact on the European calendar.

Because the top players are focused on their US commitments until the end of August. Last week the Italian Open was held, at the same golf course that hosts the Ryder Cup in September, and only 10 of the top 100 players attended.

Europe only as a springboard for the American dream?

Due to the world rankings reform, there are many more points to collect on the PGA Tour than in the European Championships. For example, it is difficult for players from Europe to climb up the world rankings.

Top 50 is the holy grail of golf because it automatically qualifies you for all four majors. But the top 100 matters, too, because sponsorship deals are often more lucrative if you’re in the top 100.

Eleven European players who were in the top 50 in the world rankings last week are playing almost full time on the PGA Tour. The only exception was our compatriot Thomas Peters.

Plus, thanks to the partnership with the PGA Tour, the top ten in the European rankings will get the rights to play on the PGA Tour at the end of the year. For example, the European Tour is in danger of losing its best players and greatest talent, and will only be seen as a stepping stone to the American Dream.

Thomas Peters had a cult following at the Soudal Open last year.

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