Golf

Eddie Pepperell: DP World Tour giving 10 players PGA Tour cards makes no sense

Eddie Pepperell can't understand the DP Tour giving its top finish players PGA Tour cards: “I can’t think of any good business that tries to not retain its ‘clients’ if you like. Just give the best ones away. That makes no sense to me." Picture by PA
Eddie Pepperell can't understand the DP Tour giving its top finish players PGA Tour cards: “I can’t think of any good business that tries to not retain its ‘clients’ if you like. Just give the best ones away. That makes no sense to me." Picture by PA Eddie Pepperell can't understand the DP Tour giving its top finish players PGA Tour cards: “I can’t think of any good business that tries to not retain its ‘clients’ if you like. Just give the best ones away. That makes no sense to me." Picture by PA

Eddie Pepperell believes giving 10 players PGA Tour cards at the end of each season will prove a "disaster" for the DP World Tour.

The leading 10 players on the final Race to Dubai standings, who are not already exempt, will earn PGA Tour cards for 2024, although they will be ranked below the top 125 finishers on the 2022-2023 FedExCup Fall Points List.

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Speaking on The Chipping Forecast podcast ahead of this week's Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, Pepperell said: "I personally think it's a disaster for the DP World Tour.

"I can't think of any good business that tries to not retain its 'clients' if you like. Just give the best ones away. That makes no sense to me.

"But from the players' perspective, who all have frankly ambitions to play on the biggest stage, which now clearly is the PGA Tour, it's good for them.

"To me it doesn't seem sustainable that the Tour can continue to operate successfully while giving away its best players. I'm afraid I don't like it at all."

It was also announced on Monday that PGA Tour members who finish from 126-200 on the money list can take up full membership of the DP World Tour, effectively providing a safety net for the 10 players who take up their PGA Tour cards.

Pepperell added: "The year after (next) all these players are going to be falling back into a really high category on the DP World Tour anyway, so there really is no incentive next year for these guys to play any tournaments on the DP World Tour other than their minimum events, which I just can't get my head around as a strategy, commercially, from the DP World Tour.

"It is what it is and I guess it's in return for all the investment that the PGA Tour is making and, to be clear, that's going to be well into the hundreds and hundreds of millions across a five-year period.

"So, the PGA Tour clearly want to see some return, and part of the return is getting some very good European players."

Denmark's Rasmus Hojgaard is keen to secure one of the 10 PGA Tour cards in order to join his twin brother and Ryder Cup winner Nicolai in the United States.

"Nicolai has been playing some good golf and he's got his card in America now, so I really want to go over there and join him so we can play together," Rasmus said.

"It's obviously the biggest goal I have for the rest of the year. I've set out a few goals at the start of the season to see if I can tick them off.

"Some have been accomplished, some haven't, but this is definitely up there now and I'm really hoping I can play some good golf here in the last three events of the year."

The Qatar Masters is the final regular event of the season, with the top 116 players on the money list on Sunday evening securing their playing privileges for next year.

Denmark's John Axelsen currently occupies 116th place, with the experienced Scottish pair of Marc Warren and Scott Jamieson 117th and 119th respectively.

There are two Irish players in the field in the Middle East, Tom McKibbin and John Murphy. Murphy is well outside the top 116 on the money list in 210th spot while Holywood man McKibbin, who claimed his maiden tour title at the European Open in June, is 42nd.