“I think it will be different and modified but, at the same time, it won’t be revolutionary,” Pelley told The Scotsman in May. Several of the tour’s top pros, he added, have been asked what might work best for them.
One priority expressed by players is to maintain the prominence of the Rolex Series. The European Tour PGA Championship is part, as are the three tournaments that finish the Race to Dubai.
Of greater impact, though, is the lift given to four longstanding national opens — this week’s Italian Open, along with the July stretch through France, Ireland and Scotland that leads to the British Open. With the European Tour PGA Championship settling in September and the July stretch expected to remain untouched, only the Italian Open would seem to be in flux. It was played in October last year, though, so a fall return would not be surprising.
“The hope is we can fit in those Rolex Series events at decent times,” Kaymer said.
What effect change might have on smaller European-based tournaments is less clear. After a low of 19 events on the Continent in 2016, the tour has rebounded to 23 stops this season.
With the exception of majors and World Golf Championships events, the tour now ventures outside Europe just once from May through late October.
“The European Tour is in a stronger position right now than a decade ago,” said Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello. “Even if there are fewer tournaments in Europe, I think those tournaments are stronger.”