Friday, May 24, 2024

New DP World Tour CEO Guy Kinnings pledges to protect Ryder Cup – Irish Golfer Magazine

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New DP World Tour CEO Guy Kinnings is keen to protect the Ryder Cup, and hopes that the biennial contest which has just been honoured with a prestigious industry award for the most recent staging at Rome’s Marco Simone Golf Club can continue to build on its status.

Talking to The Scotsman, Kinnings was asked if he was worried that the ongoing divide between LIV Golf and the DP World and PGA Tours could prove detrimental for the Ryder Cup going forward if some of the best players from both sides of the Atlantic are not involved.

“I’m the least impartial person when it comes to talking about the Ryder Cup,” admitted Kinnings, who was Ryder Cup director for the event in Rome before taking over from Keith Pelley as the DP World Tour chief.

“I think it [the Ryder Cup in Rome] reminded all of us what golf can look like at its very best and it was brilliant. At a time when we were talking too much about money, which isn’t what we want in golf, to see those players do what they did, for each other, for their country, for the continent, it was just wonderful.

“For me, all I want to do is make sure, as one of the many things we do, is protect the Ryder Cup. To be custodians of an event as good as that, which isn’t just important for golf but is important for sport in itself, is something you’ve got to take very seriously and so, absolutely, I want to make sure we elevate everything – make the tour better, and we are, make the Ryder Cup better. You follow the rules as they are, but we’ve got to build from Rome, to New York, to Ireland in 2027.”

Brooks Koepka was the only LIV player to feature in Rome, coming off the back of a year that saw him become a five-time major champion by winning the PGA Championship and finishing just outside the automatic qualifying places despite competing in just four counting events.

On the European side the likes of Sergio Garcia wasn’t selected, but with big name players Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton now plying their trade on LIV, the lack of depth in the European ranks makes it essential that captain Luke Donald will have a full deck to choose from in next year’s contest at Bethpage Black in New York.

Kinnings was on hand last week in London as Ryder Cup Europe were named Team of the Year at the prestigious Fevo Sport Industry Awards.

The award honoured the 12 European players and the entire staff at Ryder Cup Europe who delivered a record-breaking event in terms of fan engagement and commercial statistics and saw over 271,000 spectators flock through the gates throughout the week.

“They built from scratch a well-rounded entertainment spectacular that has set a new benchmark for what golf’s greatest team contest can be,” said Kinnings.

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