The early framework for a competing golf tour to rival the PGA Tour became public in the fall of 2019 with the Premier Golf League. The PGA Tour responded with a statement from Commissioner Jay Monahan implying that golfers who choose to play in a new league would no longer be eligible to play in PGA Tour events. Later in 2020, the PGA European Tour and the PGA Tour formed a strategic alliance to work together on commercial opportunities, scheduling and prize funds for each tour’s membership.
In October 2021, former professional golfer Greg Norman was named the CEO of LIV Golf.
PGA Tour member Kramer Hickok said that the league reportedly would have 12–14 events, which 40 players will fill with no cut. He also stated, “I think there have already been 17 guys that have jumped over to the Super Golf League” on The Stripe Show podcast. Ian Poulter was allegedly offered 22 million pounds (US$30 million) to join the league. Lee Westwood said that he had signed a non-disclosure agreement relating to the topic. Rory McIlroy declared the SGL’ dead in the water’ after he and several big names committed themselves to the PGA Tour.
Some big names to join
A month after the LIV Golf Invitational Series launch — the Saudi Arabia-backed league attempting to woo some of golf’s biggest names from the PGA Tour — its CEO and commissioner, Greg Norman, is apparently set to announce a handful of names committed to the controversial league.
According to a report, two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson, European Ryder Cup stars Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, and five-time tour winner Kevin Na are among those expected to join the $225 million rival. The final details are still being confirmed, according to LIV Golf, per the report, but the plan is to announce some of the players who are planning to join in the weeks ahead.
For the players, LIV Golf offers one significant temptation: money. The eight-event tour will begin this summer at the Centurion Club in St. Albans, England. Future events are scheduled for Portland, Boston, Chicago, Bangkok and Jeddah; other locations include Trump Bedminster in New Jersey.
The Centurion event is slated to have a $25 million purse for a 48-player field, and other tournaments will have similar bounties. For perspective, last week’s Masters had a $15 million total purse, the highest ever for the event. Norman said he has sent invitations to 250 players but plans to put on the event regardless of who’s playing. The lure to golf’s biggest names, Norman believes, will be the chance of winning big against a less-talented field.