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Rory McIlroy approves of European Tour’s new $62 million Rolex Series

November 16, 2016

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Rory McIlroy gave his seal of approval to the European Tour’s new Rolex Series, a $62 million enticement to keep more of its players from defecting to the PGA Tour, James Corrigan of the Telegraph writes.

“In the mission to attract more of the big names and so break the near-monopoly enjoyed by the PGA Tour in the US for much of the summer, McIlroy feels this is a canny move. ‘It gives guys an incentive to maybe play a little bit more on this side of the pond leading up to the Open Championship and hopefully get some great fields,’ he said. ‘It’s getting more and more difficult to play two tours. With the regulations that the PGA Tour are putting upon us and with how great the events are becoming over here, it’s hard to jump back and forth and play tournaments.

“‘So I think you might see more guys spending prolonged periods in either/or, because jumping back and forth, you can do it for so long, but in the long run, it just doesn’t work too well.’”

Professional golf experiments with change

Professional golf has always been resistant to change from its weekly 72-hole tournament format, ESPN’s Jason Sobel notes in this story, but suddenly is beginning to search for alternatives ways to spark interest for players and fans, among them a two-man team event.

“Is it needed? I don't have any idea. I would probably say no,” Zach Johnson explained. “But can it be a positive in the long run? Absolutely. To add something to a product that’s already tremendous and make it better -- whether it’s lights, dates, formats -- I’m all for it. If it can help the game, if it helps fans of the game and makes us players hungrier to play more, sure. I see no issues with it.”