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If you thought Greg Norman’s LIV Golf operation was the only new series of tournaments in which 12 teams of four would compete in 54-hole Ryder Cup style matches for (lots of) guaranteed money, you were wrong.
The Premier Golf League, founded by Andy Gardner, came up with the format first. The Saudi Public Investment fund expressed interest as an early backer before splitting off to pursue its own version of the same idea, which turned into Norman’s LIV Golf Invitational series.
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While Norman vacuumed up headlines about the initiative, the PGL hasn’t given up. Today, what appears to be open letter from PGL directed at PGA Tour players was leaked. The provenance is still unconfirmed, but in it, the PGL urged players to email the Player Advisory Council and the Tour Policy Board demanding the board meet with PGL leadership and that the proposal receive a fair independent vetting.
Those requests and the general pitch align with previous communications from the PGL, which would certainly have some urgency about floating its plan. Earlier this year, the PGL sent a proposal to the PGA Tour and the Players Advisory Council seeking to effectively sell itself to the Tour, thereby becoming part of the Tour ecosystem rather than a competitor. The proposal included equity stakes to the PGA Tour, the DP World tour, the Korn Ferry tour and the golfers themselves, with some additional payouts to players.
Both Kevin Kisner, the outgoing chairman of the council, and Rory McIlroy, the new chair, said that an Allen & Company review of the PGL plan concluded the financing (which isn’t yet public) wouldn’t work. “We had Allen & Company present to the board in Orlando about the PGL proposal,” McIlroy said. “They don’t think 10B by 2030 is feasible at all. They said you’d need to create 20 Ryder Cups a year from now until then to get to that number.”
In the letter, the PGL called that claim BS, although they spelled it out. The letter also explained that players had two options: Let LIV win or get in on PGL. No players or Tour representatives have yet responded.
Full letter screenshot image to follow: