European Tour rules out Florida Swing in April

The possibility of the European Tour staging a Florida Swing in April is no longer being pursued, The Scotsman can exclusively reveal.

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley during the Hero Open at Marriott Forest of Arden last August. Pictured: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley during the Hero Open at Marriott Forest of Arden last August. Pictured: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

Members were informed as part of a wide-ranging email earlier today from Keith Pelley the circuit’s chief executive, that the prospect of as many as three events in the Sunshine State straight after the Masters is no longer being considered.

Instead, the plan is to try and push ahead with a scheduled Iberian Swing, which is due to involve events in Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Portugal, despite problems for UK and South African players in particular due to current Covid-19 travel restrictions.

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The door for an unprecedented step for the European Tour had been opened by the PGA Tour on the back of a “strategic alliance” between the two circuits.

The possibility of playing some events in Florida had been warmly welcomed by some players, but Pelley’s email, which has been seen by The Scotsman, has closed that potential new chapter for the time being.

In response to being asked about that email, he said: “As a global Tour, we face challenges due to current international travel restrictions and we therefore must explore all options available to ensure our members play a full schedule.

“The offer to stage events in the United States was a generous one by the PGA Tour and shows the strength of the Strategic Alliance between our two Tours that we announced late last year.

“However, as I said in my correspondence with our membership, our intention is to stay with our current schedule and that remains our plan.

“At the same time, however, we are constantly monitoring the fluid situation across Europe.”

Rory McIlroy had hinted that the possibility of some European events in the US were off the table when he was asked about the prospect of a Florida Swing in his press conference on Tuesday at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

“I don't think that's going to happen,” said the newly-elected chairman of the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council.

Asked if that had come from the horse's mouth, McIlroy added: “Pretty sure it's not going to happen, which is a good thing because I think it means things are starting to get a little better back in Europe.”

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