Genesis Scottish Open will have 'room' for home players, vows Keith Pelley

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley says there will be “room” to accommodate a healthy number of leading home hopefuls in the Genesis Scottish Open despite half the field being given over to PGA Tour players.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 8:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 8:45 am
Europan Tour chief executive Keith Pelley is excited about the Genesis Scottish Open becoming co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

Along with two US events, the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship, the Scottish Open will be co-sanctioned by both the European Tour and the PGA Tour from next season.

It means the Rolex Series event will count towards the FedEx Cup on the US circuit as well as the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.

Devised from the Strategic Alliance established by the two circuits last November, the field for the Genesis Scottish Open next July will be a split of 73 European Tour members and 73 PGA Tour members.

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In the strongest-ever line up for the event at The Renaissance Club last month, 11 Scots teed up alongside the likes of Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele.

Richie Ramsay took pride of place among the home contenders, finishing in a tie for 15th behind Australian Min Woo Lee and also picking up the inaugural Jock MacVicar AGW Memorial Award as the leading Scot.

“That's something that we have talked about, and it was even a conversation that I've had briefly with (tournament committee member) Stephen Gallacher,” said Pelley in reply to being asked about how the co-sanctioning will impact the Scottish representation in the event going forward.

“And that is critical, especially when you think about what we introduced this year with the salute to Jock and what Richie Ramsay did this year in Scotland. So there will still be room for that to happen and still be room from an invite’s perspective to allow the Scottish top players to be able to play.”

The situation will also be helped slightly by the fact that duel-ranking members like Rahm, McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood will count in the PGA Tour allotment if they all decide to play in the Scottish Open.

With the two events being held the same week, players missing out on the Scottish Open could have a chance of getting into the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky.

It will be the same thing with the Barracuda Championship in California for European Tour members who don’t qualify for the 150th Open at St Andrews as both those events are the following week.

According to one PGA Tour player, the new arrangement will help take the Scottish Open to a new level, with the event’s pre-Open slot having been secured through to 2025.

“I think it will bring more people to play in the Scottish Open,” Denver-based Glaswegian Martin Laird told pgatour.com.

“They already get a lot of great players, but this will only help the field further. It’s great for Scotland.”

American Will Zalatoris, who made his Scottish Open debut in East Lothian last month, also hailed the new set up for the event, which is likely to be held at The Renaissance Club for the fourth year in a row.

“I love the partnership with the European Tour,” he said. “I think it’s great. A lot of guys go over for the Scottish anyways, so I think it’s a great move.

“It’s good for the PGA Tour, good for the European Tour, it’s a win-win for everybody.”

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