The Daily Telegraph reported that the “World Tour” would begin in September 2022, likely forcing players to choose between the PGA Tour and the circuit backed by Saudi Arabia’s financial interests.
Two agents who wished to remain anonymous confirmed to ESPN that the Premier Golf League is courting players again.
“He’s still alive, and the players and agents are just listening to their pitch,” an agent told ESPN. “That’s about it at this point. Just a lot of listening. “
According to the story of the Telegraph, there is a lot to consider.
The idea of a rival golf tour gained traction in early 2020, with talks about big guarantees and a team structure to create a star-guided tour that would take place around the world. Originally, plans called for an 18-event schedule from January through September with 48-player pitches and purses of $ 10 million each week, with an end-of-season tag team championship.
The plan, however, apparently lost momentum when several players, including Rory McIlroy – who was ranked No.1 at the time – said they would not participate. The coronavirus pandemic, which has closed all the golf course for more than three months, has also stalled the situation.
But the plan is not dead. According to the Telegraph, a Saudi team of investors have settled in Jupiter, Florida and are seeking quick decisions from the players in order to get the tour started.
Anyone who signs up would almost certainly not be allowed to participate in the PGA Tour, requiring outings for conflicting events on other tours which are typically limited to a handful of events each year.
“Our governance system has been driven by our players and our board of directors, and we have regulations in place that allow us to protect the interests of our media partners, our sponsors and all of our voters,” said last year Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour. about the Premier Golf League. “And if we got to that point, we would take steps to vigilantly protect this business model. “
Monahan was scheduled to attend an afternoon meeting with the PGA Tour players at Quail Hollow Golf Club, site of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship.
The PGA Tour has already taken steps to fend off players looking for guaranteed money.
Last fall, when the Premier Golf League proposed to the European Tour to “take the Tour to another level but in a different direction,” according to CEO Keith Pelley, Monahan decided to set up an “alliance strategic ”with the European Tour which saw the PGA Tour buy a stake in European Tour Productions and secure a seat on the European Tour board. Further collaboration is expected.
Two weeks later, there was the disclosure of a player incentive program that was quietly approved last year and started in 2021 with a $ 40 million bonus pool to be split among 10 players. who are most successful in various engagement activities that “move the needle”. ‘and would pay $ 8 million to the player running the program.
According to the Telegraph’s story, the Premier Golf League would give top players $ 30 million up front with a share of the teams they would be on. These teams competed against each other from week to week, with individual results also recorded and large purses for each tournament.
Due to the alliance of the PGA Tour with the European Tour, it is possible that participation in the Ryder Cup will also be refused to those who jump on the new circuit. It is not clear how the official world golf ranking might work and how it would impact the major championships.