PGA Tour/DP World Tour partner with KPGA in attempt to nullify LIV threat

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Tom Kim celebrates his hole-winning putt against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour have announced that they have partnered with the Korea Professional Golfers’ Association (KPGA) in its pursuit to strengthen the professional game against the threat of LIV Golf.

Having already expanded its relationship with the DP World Tour for 2023, the PGA Tour has added the KPGA, meaning the leader in the season-long points race will earn membership for the DP World Tour in 2023.

That honour will go to Genesis Championship and LG Signature Players Championship winner, Yeongsu Kim who is 378th in the world.

Kim will also earn an invite to the Genesis Scottish Open which is co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour.

“Sungjae Im, K.H. Lee, Si Woo Kim and Joo-hyung ‘Tom’ Kim are all becoming household names in the United States thanks in large part to the contributions they made this past September for the International Team at the 2022 Presidents Cup,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

“What each of those young stars has in common is that they all honed their craft at the KPGA, which continues a proud tradition of producing world-class talent each and every year. We look forward to seeing the next set of young stars from this proud golf country make their way onto the DP World Tour and perhaps subsequently onto the PGA Tour in future seasons.”

“The KPGA has a strong history of producing exceptional talent and we are delighted to confirm these formal pathways, giving players clearly defined routes to showcase their skills on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour,” said DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.

“Combined with our tournament in Korea next April, we look forward to working closely with the KPGA and the PGA Tour to inspire, and to enable, future generations of Korean players to reach the very top of the men’s professional game.”

Ja-Cheol (J.C.) Koo, Chairman of the KPGA, said: “It has been our honour to see Korean Tour winners go on to have similar success at the top echelon of the men’s professional game. We are certain that today’s announcement will help further grow the sport in Korea, and we are grateful to be officially welcomed into the meritocracy that the men’s professional game provides.”

As a result of this new partnership a $2 million tournament will be launched in Korea and become co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour.

LIV Golf has been popular in Asia with several Asian Tour members playing their way onto LIV while the rebels from the Saudi backed organisation have been playing in Asian Tour events to earn world ranking points.

Anirban Lahiri, Sihwan Kim, Phachara Khongwatmai, Sadom Kaewakanjana and Hideto Tanihara have all moved to LIV Golf while Hideki Matsuyama turned down some extremely lucrative advances from Greg Norman this year.

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