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Report: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy launching new PGA Tour-backed competition

Major winners trying to rally players behind PGA Tour in face of LIV Golf threat.

23 August 2022 Ed Dixon

Getty Images

  • One-day events to be held in stadium environment and launch in 2024
  • Competition could run from January to March
  • NBC has option to become US media partner

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are leading a new PGA Tour-backed venture for top golfers to compete against each other in a stadium setting, according to Golfweek.

The two multiple major winners have been outspoken critics of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, with the new events drawn up to offer additional opportunities for PGA Tour players and stop more of them from joining the breakaway series.

The one-day events will reportedly launch in 2024, with a focus on technology elements and featuring a live audience. Designed to complement the PGA Tour schedule, Golfweek suggests they could run from January to March ahead of a later finale.

Discussions about broadcast and gaming partners are reportedly underway. NBC, which has rights to the US Open and Open Championship majors in the US, purportedly has an option in its broadcast partnership with the PGA Tour to air the new events.

The plan was reportedly shared with PGA Tour players at a meeting, attended by Woods and McIlroy, on 16th August during the BMW Championship. It has been pitched as a long-term opportunity for players to build equity in the enterprise, which will have private funding in addition to corporate partnerships and sponsors.

According to Golfweek, the proposal was received positively among players.

Woods and McIlroy reportedly began working on the project more than two years ago, with that close collaboration ultimately compelling them to come together and encourage players to back the PGA Tour amid the threat from LIV Golf.

The two had already arranged an informal meeting of players to discuss countering the Saudi circuit during last month’s JP McManus Pro-Am event at Adare Manor in Ireland.

Woods and McIlroy’s new project has, according to Golfweek, received support from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. More details could be announced this week at the Tour Championship, including the format, potential participants, experiential elements and planned location.

SportsPro says…

Another week, another battle line drawn between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. The former has already reacted to the Saudi-backed circuit by suspending players, increasing prize money and revamping its schedule. The offering from Woods and McIlroy, two of the games’ biggest draws, adds to its arsenal.

The stadium setting for the format would appeal to the casuals and offers an alternative to LIV Golf’s plan to hold a league next year consisting of 12 ‘established team franchises’.

Stadium and franchise golf may have an air of the unprecedented but it is the sign of the times. Neither the PGA Tour or LIV Golf have been willing to concede any ground so far and will continue to explore new ways to get the upper hand.

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