CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Premier Golf League is still in play.
According to a report Tuesday in The Telegraph, the aspiring breakaway tour has made multi-million dollar offers to several of the game’s biggest names and best players, including world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose.
Offers reaching in the neighborhood of $30-$50 million.
The proposed league would feature 40-48 players playing an 18-event schedule in tournaments around the world with lucrative purses, with a season-ending team championship. The league would have a lot of guaranteed money and include a team concept that would dole out ownership stakes for 10-12 players who would captain four-man teams.
The goal is for the league to start in 2022.
“The money is there,” one agent told Golfweek on condition of anonymity. “I heard $1 billion. This is real.”
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The proposed league that would be in direct competition with the PGA Tour and European Tour was thought to have flatlined months ago when the two established circuits formed a strategic alliance, with the PGA Tour buying an estimated $90 million stake on the European Tour’s media operations.
Then Golfweek broke the news that the PGA Tour established a $40 million Player Impact Program that would reward 10 players not for their results inside the ropes but their work to promote the game outside the ropes. In other words, it would financially compensate some of the game’s best and most popular players.
But according to The Telegraph, the Premier Golf League, bankrolled by a group of Saudi Arabia investors, is not going away. However, a team of negotiators for the Saudis no longer includes The Raine Group, according to The Telegraph. A group of negotiators have spent months in Jupiter, Florida, according to the report. The south Florida area is home to many of the game’s biggest names.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is scheduled to fly to Charlotte on Tuesday to speak at a players meeting. The Tour is playing the Wells Fargo Championship this week at Quail Hollow in the Queen City.
Likely to be among the topics would be player eligibility; how would the PGA Tour and European Tour react to players signing up with the rival league? As well, how would the sport’s four majors – Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and Open Championship – respond if the Premier Golf League tees off in 2022?
So many questions, so many answers to come. But there is no doubt the Premier Golf League is still very much a concern for both the PGA Tour and European Tour.