London, England: Strengthening ties with Asia will be among the most pressing aims of Keith Pelley who has officially begun his tenure as Chief Executive of the European Tour.
The 51-year-old Canadian succeeds George O’Grady, who held the post for a 10-year period.
The European Tour has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the Asian Tour for more than a decade during which time there have been more than 50 co-sanctioned events in the region.
Pelley will be anxious to develop the European Tour’s presence in the Far East, especially at a time when Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour are also flexing their muscles globally as they seek to broaden their horizons.
In a statement released by the European Tour, Pelley said: “I said back in April, when news of my impending appointment was released, that I was proud and honoured to be joining the European Tour as its new Chief Executive and those feelings resonated once again when I walked through the front door for the first time officially [on August 3].
“Over these past three months I have travelled and spoken to many people involved with the European Tour and I have been encouraged to find that the Tour already has a highly regarded reputation worldwide – naturally I will be seeking to build and expand on that in the years ahead.
“I have also seen how our European Tour members have excelled on the global stage in recent years and it is appropriate that my first two weeks at the helm sees them vie for a World Golf Championship title in Ohio and a Major Championship in Wisconsin. Naturally I wish them all well in that quest.
“Finally, I have spent the majority of my career working in the media and I was therefore delighted to meet many of the guys who cover our sport on a regular basis during my trip to Wentworth in May. As I said then, I look forward to getting to know them all and working together with them to help promote the European Tour in the future.”
Pelley is only the fourth Chief Executive in the history of the European Tour, following in the footsteps of the Tour’s original founding father John Jacobs (1971-1974), Ken Schofield (1975-2004) and O’Grady (2005-2015).