Stephen Gallacher says DP World Tour is in 'really good place' and is excited about schedule shake up
Stephen Gallacher feels the DP World Tour is in a “really good place” and is determined to pull a big performance out of the hat so that he himself can enjoy the benefits of a schedule shake up.
Keith Pelley, the circuit’s chief executive, has laughed off a claim by Sergio Garcia, one of the LIV Golf rebels, that the DP World Tour is “going to become the fifth best tour in the world” as a result of its strategic alliance with the PGA Tour.
“We are unquestionably the No 2 tour in the world by a country mile,” said Pelley, speaking at Wentworth on the eve of the $8 million BMW PGA Championship.
The Canadian revealed that, outside of the majors and the one remaining World Golf Championship, DP World Tour members will play for $144 million next year and that will rise to $162 million by 2027.
The schedule will be “transformed” in 2024, when fewer events will be played but for bigger prize pots.
“I think that’s the way forward,” said Gallacher, who sits on the tour’s tournament committee. “I think we’ve had too many events in too many different places and I think it makes sense to condense it to certain areas and play for more money.
“That would make everybody happy. The fields would be better and the tournaments would be better for it, so I think it is definitely going to happen.
“I was in it,” added Gallacher, laughing, of a five-hour tournament committee meeting referenced by Pelley. “Everybody was unanimous at the meeting.
“We know the tour is in a really, really good place and it’s just a case of letting the membership know, which Keith did yesterday (at a player meeting).
“The strategic alliance with the PGA Tour - the No 1 tour in the world - is a great thing. If we are working with them and they are going to help us out, I think it is nothing but positive.”
Eighteen LIV Golf players, led by Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia, are teeing up at Wentworth, where a pending court case has opened the door for the so-called rebels.
“I don’t feel bad blood; there’s just a strange vibe,” said Gallacher. “It’s a kind of them and us thing. Jon Rahm spoke about it, as did Billy Horschel.
“Paul McGinley was a little bit outspoken in an article last weekend, which I thought was an honest view. Until the court case takes place, they are here and it doesn’t matter if you agree with it or not.
“It’s the boys who would never have played here (the likes of American Talor Gooch and Mexican Abraham Ancer) that hurts. Your Poulters, Westwoods and Garcias, I’m not going to say to them they are not allowed to play.
“Hopefully we look at the world top-60 regulation and maybe change it to safeguard the membership a bit more.”
Gallacher heads into the Rolex Series event sitting 197th in the DP World Tour Rankings, meaning he needs a strong finish to the season to hang on to the card he first secured back in 1996.
“I’m having plenty of birdies,” said the 47-year-old of making the cut in three of his last four events. “If I can just cut out a few bogeys, that would be good. I’m certainly high in the birdie count, which is good.
“That was Dave Stockton’s thing when I went over to the US to see him. He said that your goal should be to try and have the most birdies in the field that week.
“Okay, you might also have some bogeys, but the week you don’t then you are going to contend and that’s kind of the way I’m looking at it.
“Every event coming up is a big one for me as I need a good week somewhere and I just hope it is this week.
“If I was to win in Mallorca after missing every cut up until then, you would say it’s been a good year - golf is a strange game!
“I’m actually enjoying the tournaments at the moment as I’m hitting the ball well enough. I’ve just got to keep optimistic that it is going to happen.”