As more of the world’s top golfers prepare to leave the establishment and join the LIV Golf series, the PGA Tour can fight fire with fire by creating a “tour within a tour” with its own 60-player, no-pruning courses. Prize fund of 20 million US dollars.
The concept was reportedly celebrated by Tiger Woods during his secret meeting with the top 20 remaining PGA players last week in Wilmington, Delaware ahead of the BMW Championship.
It’s a response to the LIV Golf series — the Saudi-backed league led by Australian golfing great Greg Norman and dividing the golf establishment in two — that offers ludicrous entry fees and $25 million purses for events and no cuts. on their fields with 48 players.
According to Alan Shipnak for Fire Pit CollectiveWoods took charge as a “self-appointed shadow commissioner” to “change the PGA Tour” in an attempt to ensure more players were happy with the establishment.
“Woods and the top 20 players he brought together discussed the formation of the tour within the tour: up to 18 tournaments without cuts, in which the top 60 players will compete for $ 20 million purses,” Shipnak said.
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If the concept sounds familiar, it’s because it is, and it is said that those who have already joined LIV Golf laughed at the current state of affairs.
“The best part is the lower level guys. [on Tour] I don’t even know what’s going to happen,” one golfer told LIV The Fire Pit Collective.
While earlier reports suggested that Woods was giving up a claimed A$1 billion to join Norman’s LIV Golf Series, the Aussie clarified the comments in an exclusive interview with foxsports.com.au last week, saying that the amount was much shorter than what was written.
“Honestly, we are not commenting on any past or current offerings to any players, but it is clear that the media is picking up on information, tidbits, white noise and exploiting that,” Norman told foxsports.com.au.
“I just want to clarify here that the numbers thrown out include the future value of the franchise.
“So if you look at that number that’s being thrown out there… the generational richness that this franchise opportunity has for individual players is incredible.”
Seven more players, including Open champion Cameron Smith, are reportedly set to leave the PGA Tour at the conclusion of the FedEx Cup this weekend.
Woods said last month that the LIV defectors had betrayed the game that gave them everything.
“I think what they did was turn their back on what allowed them to get to that position,” Woods said of the LIV defectors at The Open Championship last month.
“What are these players doing for guaranteed money, what is the incentive to train? What is the incentive to go there and make money in the dirt? You just get paid a lot of money up front and play multiple tournaments and play 54 holes. They play loud music and they have this whole different vibe.”
However, Woods, who is said to be “a golf historian dating back to childhood, has a vested interest in keeping the PGA Tour as strong as possible given its vast position in the game.”
“He cares deeply about his heritage and knows that a heavily undervalued PGA Tour won’t help polish his legend,” Shipnak said.
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Shipnak also wrote that Woods could potentially get his pie and eat it after seeing the PGA Tour relinquish their non-commercial status, which would therefore result in them being taxed around $20-$50 million, but giving it ” more freedom in how he spends.” their affairs.”
A golf insider reports that the idea has been floated and supported by key PGA stakeholders, and is being promoted by Woods advisor J.P. McManus, a self-made billionaire and major investor.
If that happens, the PGA Tour could also turn to private equity as a payment method for some of its star players and give them a stake in the business.
“If Tour needs to exonerate Woods for turning down LIV’s largesse, the simplest way would be to award him, say, 10 percent of a $7.5 billion business or 5 percent of a $15 billion concern,” Shipnak wrote. .
“His responsibilities will include hosting the Los Angeles Open (and possibly other tournaments), running the Presidents and Ryder Cup teams, and, as McIlroy put it after Tuesday’s meeting, acting as the alpha of the Tour.”
The details came at the end of the second FedEx Cup playoff last weekend. Although several questions were asked about the specifics of last week’s meeting ahead of the BMW Championship, four-time major tournament winner Rory McIlroy said Woods’ presence showed how much he cared about the game.
“It’s impressive and I think it shows how much he cares about the Tour,” McIlroy said.
“I think it shows how much he cares about the players who go through him and become the next generation. Like it or not, they can no longer sell Tiger Woods. Tour had an easy job for 20 years. They don’t have Tiger – yes, they have us and we are all great players, but we are not Tiger Woods.
“We’re moving into a different era and we just need to think about things a little differently.”