Tiger Woods Considering Joining New Golf League

Published February 13th, 2020 - 08:12 GMT
Tiger Woods recently dropped from No. 6 to No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking. (Photo: Peter Foley/UPI)
Tiger Woods recently dropped from No. 6 to No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking. (Photo: Peter Foley/UPI)

Tiger Woods said his team has been looking into joining a new golf league, which plans to begin play in 2022 or 2023.

Woods spoke about the Premier Golf League on Tuesday while preparing to play at the 2020 Genesis Invitation at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. The 15-time major championship winner said he was "personally approached" by the new league.

"My team's been aware of it, and we've delved into the details of it and are trying to figure it out just like everyone else,'' Woods told reporters.

"We've been down this road before with World Golf Championships and other events being started. There's a lot of information that we're still looking at and whether it's reality or not, but just like everybody else, we're looking into it.''

The Premier Golf League is a proposed 18-event tour from January to September. Each event would be 54 holes and have no cuts. The 48-player field would play for $10 million in prize money each week before a season-ending championship. The tour would likely impact the PGA Tour and European Tour if it materializes, meaning golf stars would likely be unable to remain in those tours while also playing in the Premier Golf League.

The new league plans to include a team concept, with owners overseeing 12 four-man squads. Woods mentioned a desire to showcase more of the world's top players as an attraction of the new league.

"Like all events, you're trying to get the top players to play more collectively,'' Woods said. "It's one of the reasons why we instituted the World Golf Championships, because we were only getting [the top male golfers] together five times a year, the four majors and the Players [Championship], and we wanted to showcase the top players on more than just those occasions.

"So this is a natural evolution, whether or not things like this are going to happen, but ideas like this are going to happen going forward, whether it's now or any other time in the future.''

Sources told Golf Digest and the Golf Channel that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan sent a letter to players Monday mentioning the new league.

"If the team golf concept or another iteration of this structure becomes a reality in 2022 or at any time before or after, 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," Monahan wrote.

Several other golfers have recently given their thoughts on the new league, including new world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

The Premier Golf League has been "talking to a few of us for six years,'' McIlroy told reporters in January at the Farmers Insurance Open. "They approached me at the end of 2014. It's a hard one. I love the PGA Tour, but these guys have exploited a couple of holes in the system. The way that golf at the highest level is nowadays, and how it's sort of transitioned from a competition tour to entertainment, right? It's on TV, it's people coming out to watch. It's definitely a different time than what it was before.

"But I love the PGA Tour. I love the way golf is set up right now, so it might be that -- it might be the catalyst for something a little bit different out here as well. Who knows? But I certainly wouldn't want to lose what's been built in the last 40 or 50 years, tournaments like this, tournaments like Riviera in a couple weeks' time, everything that we have gotten to know and love over the years.''

The world's top golfers tee off at the 2020 Genesis Open on Thursday in Los Angeles. The event ends Sunday.


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