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‘Distraught’ Padraig Harrington fears for DP Tour future as Rory McIlroy calls for closer partnership with PGA

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Rory McIlroy and captain Padraig Harrington of Ireland and Team Europe during the 43rd Ryder Cup. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy and captain Padraig Harrington of Ireland and Team Europe during the 43rd Ryder Cup. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy and captain Padraig Harrington of Ireland and Team Europe during the 43rd Ryder Cup. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Pádraig Harrington admits he’s massively worried about the future of the DP World Tour as events are set to endure a serious world ranking downgrade next month.

It's devastating, and it's not getting talked about with all that's going on,” Harrington said of the new system which will see European events received far few world ranking points.

“Really I'm distraught about it. For the young guys coming up I just don't see the pathway anymore to get into the top 100, which is what you've got to do.

“Get into the top 100 and you can play the majors, play the best events, and test yourself without necessarily throwing yourself into the deep end.

“If that pathway to turn pro and play in Europe and have the comfort of your home environment to grow your game, learn your game, to develop as a player, with this new system, it’s gone.”

The LIV Golf Series, not the world rankings, is the big talking point in the game this week following the defection of four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka to the Saudi-funded league.

Speaking ahead of the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, McIlroy said he has been surprised by the "duplicitous" behaviour of some of the golfers who have taken the Saudi cash.

"Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he said previously,” he said of Koepka.

“I think that's why I'm surprised at a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another, and I don't understand that and I don't know if that's for legal reasons or if they can't - I have no idea.

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"But it's pretty duplicitous on their part to say one thing and then do another thing…the whole way through, in public and private, all of it.”

As for the Strategic Alliance between the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, McIlroy wants to see even more co-operation in the face of the LIV Golf threat.

“I've always advocated for something where the tours work more closely together or we create some sort of world tour model or ATP model,” he said. “Where there's different events going on in different areas of the world, but they're all governed under one umbrella.

“I would like to see the PGA Tour and the European Tour start to work more closely together and maybe try to forge a path to where all the biggest golf events in the world are under the same umbrella”


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