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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A new Golf league in town: Does it have any takers?

The World Golf Group has unveiled its plan for a new global tour which has some players curious but the PGA and European Tours miffed. Here’s the lowdown.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: February 13, 2020 9:28:47 am
A new Golf league in town: Does it have any takers? Tiger Woods said he has been approached by organisers of the league.

What is the format and how much is at stake?

The 18-event tour would run from January to September with 48-player fields in a four-man, 12-team format battling for $10 million purses at 54-hole events with no cut and shotgun starts over the first two days . There would be an individual $2 million top prize at each event, as well as team prize money.

Have many players have commited so far?

No players have publicly committed to the proposed tour but despite these seemingly daunting hurdles, the PGL sounds upbeat about its chances of getting off the ground.

The statement said the tour would be “an individual and team league” with 12 teams of four players vying for a world championship.

Ten of the 18 events would be in the United States.

Does the golf calendar have room for a league?

The PGA Tour has a policy in which players must seek a “release” from the commissioner each time they want to play an event on anything other than their home tour. This effectively restricts American players to a handful of international appearances a year. Top players already have at least six must-play events each season — the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, British Open, Players Championship and either the Ryder or Presidents Cup. It is difficult to see how they could add 18 PGL tournaments and still find time to play even a limited schedule on the PGA Tour or European Tour.

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What does Woods have to say about the concept?

When asked how such a concept could be a possibility, Woods referenced the high-profile World Golf Championships, which were introduced in 1999 as a way to get the world’s best golfers together outside of the four majors and Players Championship.

Woods also suggested that even if the PGL does not get off the ground, the concept of getting the best golfers in the world competing against each other on a more regular basis will not go away anytime soon.

What is the PGA Tour’s stand on the league?

In late January, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan warned players that aligning with the PGL could lead to disciplinary measures and loss of eligibility with the Tour.

“If the Team Golf Concept or another iteration of this structure becomes a reality in 2022 or at any time before or after,” Monahan said in an email, “our members will have to decide whether they want to continue to be a member of the PGA Tour or play on a new series.”

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