8am Round-Up: Tim Finchem wants global golf Tour

Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll are reported to be set for an April wedding in Ireland. Picture: Brian Spurlock
Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll are reported to be set for an April wedding in Ireland. Picture: Brian Spurlock
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Outgoing PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem reckons golf would benefit enormously if the US-based organisation joined forces with the European Tour.

“The opportunities here are so much better and that’s why we feel strongly over time we have to do things that will help balance the strength of tours,” said Finchem in an interview with BBC Sport.

“It’s not necessarily healthy for the next 25 years for everybody to wake up and want to come to the United States to play their golf.

“I think the challenges, though, are difficult. It is no secret, I think the best answer is that a new organisation be formed that represents professional golf on a global basis.

“Like Fifa does with soccer. That can best take advantage of golf being in the Olympic Games and can offer consistent delivery of value, which is missing now.

“It is very uneven globally. I think steps like that would help.”

Finchem, who took over the top PGA Tour post from Deane Beman in 1994, steps down at the end of the year, when his No 2, Jay Monahan, succeeds him.

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World No 2 Rory McIlroy is reported to be getting married soon after next year’s Masters.

According to a report in an Irish newspaper, McIlroy will tie the knot with his American fiancee, Erica Stoll, in a ceremony in Ashford Castle in Co Mayo in April.

“We want to keep it to ourselves as much as we possibly can,” said McIlroy of the wedding earlier this year.

“Erica loves Ireland. It’s very similar to the place where she grew up, in Rochester, upstate New York, where it’s also very green and leafy.”

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Scottish trio Laura Murray, Heather Stirling and Jane Turner face a battle to make the fifth and final round in the Ladies European Tour Lalla Aicha Tour Qualifying School in Morocco.

Needing to be among the top 60 and ties to make it to the last day in Marrakech, Murray is tied for 78th after 54 holes while Stirling and Turner are in a share of 82nd.

Stirling had the best third round among the trio, signing for a 73 at Amelkis, one of the two courses being used for the event.

Frenchwoman Celine Boutier retained top spot with a 67 at the same course to sit on 15-under, two clear of the field.

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A second significant merger between two golfing bodies based in Scotland has been finalised.

It will result in the Ladies’ Golf Union (LGU) and the R&A becoming a unified body from 1 January 2017.

The R&A will assume responsibility for staging the LGU’s championships and international matches next year.

The exception is the Ricoh Women’s British Open, which will continue to be managed by IMG in 2017 under the existing agreement with the LGU.

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PGA Professional champion Rich Berberian Jr. and Brad Lardon have won the respective 2016 Omega PGA Professional and Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year awards in the US.

The duo will be honoured next June at the 50th PGA Professional Championship at Sunriver Resort in Oregon.