Pelley: World tour just a concept, not a priority
A world tour for men's professional golf remains "just a concept" and is not a high priority, according to Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour.
In September, former world number one Rory McIlroy caused controversy when he said a world tour "has to happen" and that the "easy thing" would be for USA's PGA Tour to buy the European Tour.
McIlroy later clarified that he thought such a move remained a long way off, and Pelley addressed the issue head on at the final day of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai yesterday.
Pelley said: "There's been a lot of conversation about a world tour. I've been in the role two years here. Jay Monahan [PGA Tour commissioner] has been in the role one year. I don't know if it is a high priority for him. It hasn't been a high priority for me at this point.
"Does it make sense to look at it at some point down the road? Perhaps. If, in fact, it is something that all our players want us to investigate, we would have a fiduciary responsibility to look at it. Would we have conversations with all the other tours? Absolutely, if it is the best way to grow the game of golf globally and it works for us as a members' organisation."
Since taking the European Tour reins in September 2015, Pelley has fought hard to stem the migration of the continent's top players to the PGA Tour.
This has included the launch of the Rolex Series, eight existing tournaments branded under one umbrella, each with a minimum prize pot of $7 million.
Pelley continued: "Right now it [a world tour] is not our number one priority. We've just launched the Rolex Series, which I believe is a game-changer for us. We have a lot of different things on the agenda now. We're heading into a Ryder Cup year.
"So the concept of a world tour I understand, but right now it is just a concept. Could it come to fruition down the road? Perhaps. But that would be speculation."
The $8-million, season-ending DP World Tour Championship was the final event on the inaugural Rolex Series events, with the other tournaments being: the BMW PGA Championship, French Open, Irish Open, Scottish Open, Italian Open, Turkish Airlines Open and Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.
The British Masters could join the ranks in the next two years and Pelley said he is open to expansion, noting: "Ten would be the ultimate, but I'd rather have eight great events than 10 events just for the sake of having 10.
"I'm comfortable the number will increase in 2019, but not without us looking at it forensically. We want to have a top-player field. It needs to be a top event on a championship golf course. It needs to be supported by fans. It is something that we're really building."