PGA and LPGA formalize strategic alliance agreement

Sat Mar 5, 2016 12:17am EST
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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The two biggest tours in men's and women's golf have opened up the possibility of holding joint tournaments in the near future after the PGA and LPGA formalized a long-term strategic alliance agreement on Friday.

"From our collaboration in bringing golf back as an Olympic sport... to our cooperation in helping to grow the game of golf, our organizations have had a long history of working together for the common good of our sport," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.

The partnership between the United States-based tours covers schedule coordination, joint marketing programs, domestic television representation, digital media and exploring the potential development of joint events, the latter already being explored by their European equivalents.

"Extending our relationship with the LPGA into these new areas is a natural extension of this work and collaboration," Finchem added.

Last year, the European Tour and Ladies European Tour announced that they will stage events together at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Morocco in May, with the women playing the Lalla Meryem Cup on the Blue Course and the men playing the Trophee Hassan II on the Red Course.

"We didn't set dates and specific objectives because doing that would have underplayed the potential," LPGA commissioner Mike Whan added.

"I can't tell you exactly what is going to come from each of these areas, what I can tell you without any hesitation is that each of four or five areas that we are working on will all be better than they were before we got together to collaborate."

The PGA and LPGA added that the agreement involves no formal financial investment or transfer of ownership or control, and that both parties remain wholly separate and independent organizations.

(Reporting by John O'Brien; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

A ball lies in the sand of a bunker on the 18th hole during the second day of the European Masters golf in Crans-Montana in this September 2, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse