Report: European Tour expected to reduce prize money when play resumes

April 14, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the globe, the economic impact of the crisis is being felt in all corners of the golf world.

Earlier this week in a memo sent to players, European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley informed players that when play resumes there will be reduced purses and limited player amenities such as courtesy cars and player lounges, according to a report from The Telegraph.

“Many of the things you have become accustomed to, such as top-class players’ lounges or courtesy car services will most likely assume a different appearance, if indeed they are present at all,” Pelley said, according to the report. “Prize funds will also most likely be different… The reality is, the pandemic is going to have a profound impact on the Tour financially, as well as many of our partners, both in the sponsorship and broadcast areas.”

This memo comes a week after the tour was forced to furlough up to half of its tournament staff in Wentworth, England. Pelley and other top executives have also taken temporary salary reductions to blunt the economic impact of the crisis.

The tour has postponed or canceled 14 events so far this year, and with three major championships being rescheduled until the fall, they have been forced to make some “sacrifices on their schedule.”

Early August has been rumored as a potential return date from the extended absence from play, but Pelley preached caution moving forward.

Some of the ideas floated to make up for lost time include “(a) multiple tournaments in the same location; (b) two tournaments in the same week or three in a fortnight, or (c) three or four tournaments back- to-back in the UK with a 14 day ‘quarantine’ period ahead of that to allow players not from the UK to come over and self-isolate in advance, if that health requirement is still in place then.”

Pelley concluded by painting a grim picture for the future in which he addressed possibility of the economic fallout lasting well into the future.

“We are doing everything we possibly can to come through this, but be prepared that the 2021 schedule may look profoundly different to the 2019 or the 2018 schedule,” Pelley said.

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