• Golf

European Tour deny takeover reports

ESPN staff
August 13, 2013

The European Tour have denied reports that the US PGA Tour were planning to take control of their organisation.

There had been suggestions that the PGA Tour was in preliminary discussions to take over the European Tour due to the latter's financial struggles.

However, European Tour chief operating officer Keith Waters denied any such discussions were being held, and that no takeover was on the cards.

"The golf market in Europe is significantly smaller than in the United States, hence The European Tour's expansive policies throughout the world over the past 16 years, which includes co-operation with the US PGA Tour in the World Golf Championships arena," he said.

"However, the notion that the U.S. PGA Tour is somehow bidding to buy The European Tour is incorrect."

Whether the PGA Tour would be interested in such an expansion has been the subject of some debate. At times over the past few years, there have been questions about a world tour of some fashion, and given the growth of the game in Asia and the prominence of players outside of the United States, the idea has credence for some.

But the PGA Tour has no trouble attracting players or sponsors as an exclusive entity. Only seven players among the top 50 in the world are not full members of the tour, and prominent European Tour players such as Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Sergio Garcia play the PGA Tour full-time.

The PGA Tour has also made its own inroads into Asia with fully sanctioned events in Malaysia and China. It has also taken over the Canadian Tour and has a presence in South America as a feeder tour for aspiring pros.

Starting in October, for the first time, the PGA Tour will go to a wraparound schedule with events in the fall - including the tournaments in Malaysia and China - counting toward the 2013-14 FedEx Cup.

Acquiring the European Tour, however, would be an opportunity for the PGA Tour to gain a financial stake in the lucrative Ryder Cup, which is now shared by the European Tour and the PGA of America, an entity separate from the PGA Tour that runs the PGA Championship.

Extracts from this article first appeared on ESPN.com

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd