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George O'Grady - November 21, 2012

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George O’Grady is the Chief Executive of the European Tour. When he was asked about the idea of changing the format of the end of the Race to Dubai next year, O’Grady said that the European Tour would make slight changes and that they plan to announce those changes on Sunday. There will be three big events leading into the DP World Tour Championship and there will also be an increase in the bonus pool. He also referenced the FedExCup Playoffs on the PGA TOUR by saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Rory McIlroy has had an unbelievable 2012 season and as a result he comes to the DP World Tour Championship as the Race to Dubai Champion. The European Tour has become a global tour and if you have a great deal of success, you will have the ability to compete in the Major Championships and the WGC events which all offer a great deal of money and if you are successful in those co-sanctioned events, you will make a lot of money. McIlroy has done exactly that.

In his opinion, there is already an unofficial “world tour” based on where a lot of the best players in the world compete. Many of the best players in the world are members of both the PGA TOUR and the European Tour and he said that he has had discussions with PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem about possible future collaborative efforts.

Several notable European players will take PGA TOUR membership in 2013 including Nicolas Colsaerts, Martin Kaymer, and Peter Hanson and while O’Grady is a bit concerned about them playing less on the European Tour, he is also very proud of those players because they have clearly worked hard and earned their way onto the PGA TOUR. Various economic factors around the world have impacted how the European Tour determines where they conduct their events and also where the players want to compete. The best thing that the European Tour can do is continue to try to organize and conduct world class events that will attract the best players in the world.

When asked about a possible ban on anchoring the putter, O’Grady says that the European Tour has had numerous dealings with the USGA and the R&A on this issue and that he has also discussed the issue with his players. The long putter is not as much of an issue on the European Tour as it is on the PGA TOUR in part because the greens in the U.S. are much faster than they are on the European Tour. The European Tour is looking forward to hearing the announcement from the USGA and the R&A on this issue and they will proceed based on that ruling.

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