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Stephen Gallacher: Schedule for 2024 shows DP World Tour is only getting stronger

New schedule offers more money, more tournaments and more choice.

DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley. Image: PA
DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley. Image: PA

I hope anyone who was fearing the DP World Tour would suffer by the proposed merger of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf feels more at ease following the announcement of our 2024 tour schedule.

I know I certainly do.

With record prize money of £117million in the 2024 season, the tour prize money will increase £3.4m from this year.

A revamped schedule will also offer something for everyone and, with 44 tournaments being staged in 24 countries across five continents, professional golfers will be spoiled for choice.

The Race to Dubai will be split into three phases. There are five “global swings” from November this year through to August 2024 before the “back nine” phase begins.

This stage of the season features the historic tournaments on the calendar with the British Masters kicking off the run of tournaments from late August next year.

PGA Tour players will find the DP World Tour appealing too

The crucial element here is that, in addition to the exempt tour members, the leading 15 non-members from the top-70 on the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour will be eligible to play in these events and qualify for the DP World Tour Play-offs.

The traditional finale to our season will be the Abu Dhabi Championship and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

This is an important development for our tour and the part which will be of most interest to players.

Back in May Rory McIlroy lost $3million for missing two “designated” events on the PGA Tour.

The measure was introduced this year as a mechanism to ensure the PGA Tour retained its top golfers.

The PGA Tour’s decision to overhaul the requirement has given players much more freedom.

It means we can likely look forward to seeing Rory playing in the Irish Open next year, or Jon Rahm making an appearance in his homeland in Spain.

I know Rahm was feeling the demand to play in 18 or 19 PGA Tour events was spreading himself too thin.

But 2024 should be a more harmonious one for the game and with that a new spirit of co-operation can only be good for golf as a whole.

The chance to see some of the leading players from the FedEx Cup jump on to our tour towards the end of next season should also ensure some quality fields assembling to duke it out for a place in the DP World Tour play-offs.

We’ll also be going back to Bahrain and China for the first time in years, which is exciting.

It is clear to me rumours of the DP World Tour’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

If anything, we’re only getting bigger and stronger – and that can only be a good thing.

Tommy Fleetwood’s time will come

Tommy Fleetwood finished third at the St Jude Championship. Image: PA.

Tommy Fleetwood was left in the role of the nearly man yet again on the PGA Tour Sunday as he finished in a share of third place in the FedEx St Jude Championship.

I see the stats expert Justin Ray was all over Tommy’s performance on social media.

He pointed out not only was it Tommy’s 22nd top five finish on the PGA Tour, but he has also become the first player in PGA Tour history to surpass 20million dollars (£15.75m) in career earnings, without a win.

It’s a remarkable statistic to think Tommy has been so close 22 times, but has yet to chalk off a PGA Tour win in his career.

He’s only 32, so has plenty of time ahead of him and I have no doubt his time will come eventually.

He just has to get across the line, but it will happen I’m sure.

I don’t see his remarkable 22 top-fives as a cause for concern, though. If anything it highlights just how incredibly consistent Tommy is on the golf course.

To be fair, if you go back through his career you will see he is a guy who doesn’t miss too many cuts.

It’s pretty remarkable considering a poor draw one week can leave you up against it.

Tommy is a proper contender, but much like players such as Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie and Rickie Fowler, he seems to be labelled a nearly man because he hasn’t won a major.

I hope he does go on to lift a major at some point. He’s certainly been close a few times – but as with most things in golf, the first time is often the toughest.

Will Lucas Glover make US Ryder Cup team?

Lucas Glover was the man who pipped the rest of the field to the title at the FedEx St Jude Championship as he made it back-to-back PGA Tour victories.

Glover, who also won the Wyndham Championship last week, is making a late bid for the United States’ Ryder Cup team the way things are going.

Zach Johnson will find it hard to overlook a man who has two wins and has also finished tied fourth, fifth and joint-sixth since the beginning of July.

I expect both captains have nine or 10 of their team already in their head.

But when it comes to the final couple of places, there are some difficult decisions to be made.

For the Americans, Justin Thomas has the experience, but being in form has to count for something surely.

Stats analysis will come into play in deciding who the captain’s picks are.

Everything from four ball and foursomes records, to their record on the course in Rome and what sort of personality they are will be considered.

If you had asked me would Glover be there two weeks ago, I’d have said no chance. But now? He has as good a chance as anyone.

If he can maintain his rich vein of form for the rest of the month, Johnson will be a brave man to leave him out.

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