Saudi-backed Premier Golf League makes another move

With his visions of a world golf tour, Greg Norman was seen a thorn in the side of the PGA Tour when Tim Finchem was at the helm and now it’s Jay Monahan’s turn with the cashed-up Saudi’s and their Premier Golf League dreams making a return.

As we reported this time last year when the idea was initially floated, the world’s top players including the likes of Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm put a spanner in the works when they all but dismissed the idea publicly.

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy (Credit: PGA Tour)

“For me, I’m out. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I don’t like it,” said McIlroy early last year. “The one thing as a professional golfer in my position that I value is the fact that I have autonomy and freedom over everything that I do.”

And a month later, Koepka made his feelings felt.

“I am out of the PGL. I’m going with the PGA Tour. I have a hard time believing golf should be about just 48 players.”

Weeks later COVID-19 swept the world and the idea of a breakaway tour died a natural death…or so we thought.

According to a report in the UK’s Telegraph, the Premier Golf League concept, and now known as Super Golf League, has resurfaced and they are busy throwing around millions of dollars in a bid to secure the services of the stars they need to successfully launch the new venture for an expected start date of September 2022.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Adam Scott are reportedly amongst those who have been head-hunted for up to US$100 million. Even 50-year-old Phil Mickelson is included in the talks and might be more easily swayed with his career on the main tour drawing to a close.

The PGA Tour won’t go down without a fight, however. CEO Jay Monahan made it clear in a mandatory players meeting at Qual Hollow ahead of this week’s Well Fargo Championship that any player who signs a contract with the PGL will face instant suspension and a lifetime ban.

The sanctions will also include any involvement in major tournaments such at the Masters along with team events like the Ryder and Presidents Cup.

Right now the power is with the PGA Tour but if enough big name players start to make a move, things could quickly shift the other way and become a whole lot more interesting.

Watch this space.