Golf: Players warned against signing up for breakaway tour, reports say

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – The PGA Tour has threatened the world’s top golfers with instant suspension and lifetime bans if they join a breakaway world tour project promising multimillion-dollar deals, reported the British Daily Telegraph and other media.

The controversy echoes last month’s failed attempt by 12 European football clubs to create a breakaway European Super League, sparking a backlash from fans, players and politicians.

The Telegraph said players were offered contracts between $30 million and $100 million ($40 million and $133 million) to take part, but the PGA warned of serious consequences in a meeting before the Wells Fargo Championship.

“On Tuesday night, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monagan warned would-be rebels that they risked instant suspension and a lifetime ban. Mandatory players gathered here at Quail Hollow fell silent as the public became aware of the seismic consequences,” the Telegraph said.

The PGA Tour and European Tours did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The British group World Golf Group had publicly unveiled its plan in 2020 for a new world tour – the Premier Golf League (PGL) – comprising 18 annual events featuring 48 players. Each tournament would have a prize money of US$10 million.

The PGL had said it wanted to work with established tours rather than as an independent tour, but the PGA and European Tours rejected the tour which had planned to launch in 2022.

Former world No. 1 Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy also rejected the idea, saying he wanted autonomy in his career choices.

But media said the latest attempt at a breakaway tour – recast as the Super Golf League – was backed by Saudi money and a team of negotiators set up camp in South Florida where he resides. several great golf players.

The Telegraph said the Saudi team believes the PGA Tour cannot expel members and faces a legal battle if they do. It was unclear who or what groups in Saudi Arabia might be involved.

Michael C. Ford