Stephen Gallacher: European Tour not getting tummy tickled by PGA Tour

Stephen Gallacher insists the European Tour is “not rolling over and getting our tummy tickled” by the more powerful PGA Tour.

Stephen Gallacher in action during a practice round at the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Stephen Gallacher in action during a practice round at the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

The four-time tour winner and Ryder Cup player was responding to the announcement earlier in the week about significant developments involving the two circuits that include changes for the Scottish Open.

As well as securing a new title sponsor in South Korean car company Genesis, the long-running event is also set to be co-sanctioned by the European Tour and PGA Tour as from next year.

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Under the arrangement, the Rolex Series tournament will count towards both the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and the FedEx Cup on the US circuit.

It will also mean the field being split, with 73 spots going to European Tour members and the same number being allocated to PGA Tour members.

On the other side of the coin, spots will be on offer to European players in two US events, the Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship.

"It’s fantastic,” said Gallacher of what Pelley described as ”just the beginning” of what is set to come from the new partnership between the two circuits.

“I think it’s an alliance with a great brand in the PGA Tour and to join with them and to give opportunities for people who don’t get into the Scottish Open to play in America for two weeks, I think Keith Pelley and his team have done a great job.

"It’s great for the ecosystem of the European Tour and great for the business model as well."

Gallacher, who sits on the European circuit’s tournament committee, added: "We’re not rolling over and getting our tummy tickled.

“Keith has worked hard on this. We’ve got 73 players, so there will be a big Scottish contingent, as there has to be at a national Open.

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“I don’t know how they’ll do it – maybe a qualifier like in times gone past. They’ll keep the Scottish core to keep the tournament what it is.

“You have to take it as a positive that they (PGA Tour) decided to take on the Scottish Open – a flagship event for us.”

Referring to the Hero Open taking place at Fairmont St Andrews, he said: “There’s 17 Scots playing this week; the more Scots you have the higher chance we have of winning.”

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