Inicio Main Tours DP World Tour Significant praise for Keith Pelley’s management in the DP World Tour
Rose, Fitzpatrick, MacIntyre and Noren assess their role and trust in their successor

Significant praise for Keith Pelley’s management in the DP World Tour

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Keith Pelley - Rory McIlroy
Keith Pelley abraza a Rory McIlroy en el último Scottish Open. © Mateo Villalba / Golffile

The week is proving to be eventful in the offices. Following the announcement of Martin Slumbers‘ departure at the end of the year from the Royal and Ancient, a few hours later came the farewell of Keith Pelley as CEO of the DP World Tour. The Canadian, who turned 60 yesterday, has been hired as president and general manager of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, the parent company of four sports franchises based in Toronto: the Maple Leafs of the NHL, the Raptors of the NBA, Toronto FC of the MLS and the Argonauts of the CFL.

News about the departure of the executive who has been in charge of operations at the DP World Tour for the last eight and a half years has spread across the globe, and some of the European players competing in the Sony Open in Hawaii spoke about it when asked by Golfweek. Justin Rose, Matt Fitzpatrick, Robert MacIntyre and Alex Noren, all with Ryder Cup experience defending the European team’s colours, give high marks to Pelley’s management and welcome the idea that his replacement will be Guy Kinnings, current deputy CEO and CEO of the Ryder Cup, who will become the new CEO of the European Tour on April 2nd.

“I didn’t see it coming. He’s Canadian and this gives him the opportunity to go home,” begins Justin Rose. “You never know when these kinds of offers will appear, but it’s also a difficult time. There’s a lot to unpack and figure out right now. It would be good if there was clarity before he leaves,” stresses the Englishman.

Rose admits that “Keith has always been a disruptor of the game in a good way. He’s always looked for angles, ways to grow the game, he’s always thought a bit differently than the guys who have been in his position before. I’ve always enjoyed his perspective”. The veteran player comments that “a crystal ball would have been great because there have been some opportunities in the way golf has gone where the European Tour could have positioned itself differently and possibly strengthened the circuit in the short term. I don’t know how this new deal with private equity, for example, if it materialises, relates to the European Tour. So maybe it’s still a good step for the Circuit”.

On Kinnings taking control, the Englishman states that “he’s a lovely guy to be around. He’s been doing a great job on the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour. From the alliance, I always thought he was among the candidates for a major position on one of the tours, so this doesn’t surprise me”.

More laconic, Matt Fitzpatrick is happy for Keith Pelley and understands that his main legacy after his journey from 2015 to now on the DP World Tour is “probably giving the top 10 European players a PGA Tour card. I would say yes, yes”.

Robert MacIntyre does not evaluate whether the decision is good or bad for the Tour but does comment that “I got along great with him and I’ll always have his number to pick up the phone. He took me to the PGA Tour, didn’t he? I think as the world of golf goes, it will be a world tour. He has given me a path to achieve the dreams I always wanted to achieve. I wish him good luck in his new stage,” points out the Scot.

Finally, Alex Noren rewinds and says that “it’s a very different climate in the world of golf than when he started”, but also talks about the future: “I don’t know what the best future for all the tours will be. I’m happy that we have many good tournaments in Europe. I just wish we could combine the tours a bit more and get FedEx Cup points in some more DP World Tour events, so it would make sense for more PGA Tour golfers to play both tours. I think it would benefit both”.

Focusing more on Pelley, the Swede explains that “Keith had a lot of forward vision and tried to compete with the PGA Tour. Getting those Rolex tournaments was huge. I just think that in the future we could combine them more and as a European I would love it”. Of Kinnings he asserts that “he is very competent, very nice but also very professional. He has done a great job with the Ryder Cup and I think he will do a good job”.