Finchem sees single global tour in golf's future

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ATLANTA – On Tuesday at the Tour Championship, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem appeared to set the stage for his exit with a news conference that was billed as his final “formal” media meet-and-greet.

Among the subjects that Finchem, who took over as commissioner in 1994, addressed at East Lake was what he called “globality,” which in golf circles is the possibility of a single global tour.

Rumors of a possible merger between the PGA Tour and European Tour have been circulating the last few months, and Finchem said it was one of his regrets that the game isn’t any closer to a global tour.

“We've done a lot of great things globally, and doing a lot of things in a hurry probably is not going to make sense globally anyway, but I would have liked to see a little bit more acceleration there,” Finchem said.

Some viewed the introduction of the World Golf Championships in 1999 as an early step toward a global tour, but in March European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley didn’t make it sound as if a merger between the game’s biggest circuits was inevitable.

“We are golf’s global tour; we play in 26 countries in five continents of the world, including the United States,” Pelley told The Guardian. “Obviously, Finchem has been in the industry a lot longer than I have so he is probably better equipped to talk about it, but every decision we make will always be with our members at the forefront.”

Despite those comments and Finchem’s looming retirement, his vision of a global tour has not waned.

“I still maintain that over time golf will come together,” Finchem said.