McIlroy “happy” for departing Keith Pelley and backs incoming Kinnings

Ronan MacNamara

DP World Tour CEO, Keith Pelley and Rory McIlroy (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Rory McIlroy wished departing DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley well after eight and a half years in the role while he signalled his approval for the incoming Guy Kinnings who will take over the role from April 2nd.

Pelley’s intention to step away from his role to move back to his native Toronto to become president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment – which owns the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and MLS side Toronto FC – was announced just a day after R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers confirmed he was leaving his role at the end of the year.

“I’m happy for him, I think the job he’s going to is one he has probably wanted for a long, long time being from Canada especially Toronto and being able to run two major sports in Toronto, the hockey team and the basketball team. It’s a wonderful opportunity for Keith and I am happy for him in that regard,” McIlroy said after his second round of the Dubai Invitational.


Pelley will be replaced by deputy DP World Tour chief executive and Ryder Cup executive director, Guy Kinnings.

“Obviously in terms of where it leaves the DP World Tour, Guy is going to step into the role and Guy has been around the tour in different capacities for quite a while and especially with everything going on in the game Guy has been in all those rooms over the last couple of years so I thought it was a pretty natural transition to go from Keith to Guy and I am pretty confident Guy will do a good job aswell.”

In a letter addressed to DP World Tour members, Pelley explained his decision to quit his role and return to Canada.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision, and not one I took lightly, but the chance to return to Canada to oversee my childhood, hometown sports teams was the one position in global sports that I simply could not turn down.”

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