Many of golf’s biggest names, including world number one Dustin Johnson and England’s Justin Rose, have been awarded contracts worth up to $ 100 million to participate in a “ World Tour ” breakaway that forced them to choose between Saudi silver and the PGA Tour and maybe even the Masters and Ryder Cup.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monagan warned future rebels on Tuesday night that they face an instant suspension and a life ban. The obligatory players gathered here at Quail Hollow fell silent as the audience took in the seismic consequences.
While the majority viewed the Premier Golf League as dead in the water after major Tour efforts to kill the idea, Sport Telegraph may reveal formal offers worth $ 30-50 million up front are being reviewed by 11 players, including – alongside Johnson and Rose – Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler .
Phil Mickelson was reportedly offered $ 100 million as the rebel’s de facto leader.
So despite Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy – the Northern Irishman who last year declared his opposition to the F1-type scheme – the Saudis are not taking ‘no’ for an answer and have indicated they have the intend to start their tour in September 2022.
Similar to the Super League and European football, the news sent huge shockwaves throughout a sport that believed Monahan had already effectively blown the proposed revolution.
Last fall, when the PGL went to the European Tour with what Keith Pelley, the General Manager of the Tour, described at the time as “a very compelling offer to take the Tour to another level but in one direction. different, ”Monahan acted quickly and supposedly decisively.
A “strategic alliance” was formed with the PGA Tour buying an estimated $ 90 million stake in the media arm of its European counterpart. Monahan has also implemented an annual $ 40 million Player Impact Program that does not reward pros for results on the ropes, but rather for the positive publicity they garner in the media and on social networks. The best players had therefore been reassured in their conviction that they were entitled to a larger share of the pot than the base.
Yet it appears that the demise of PGL has been greatly exaggerated. It is believed that in addition to an initial fortune, the contracts offer a half share in their “teams”. Each of these team leaders would be joined by three other players in the fields of 48 men and the prize money would be, in the words of an insider, “astronomical” in the 18 world events.
However, Monahan, when addressing the players here on the eve of the Wells Fargo Championship, empathetically reaffirmed that it would come at a seismic cost to their careers.
He has previously stated that any player who signs up will no longer be a member of the Tour and with the European Tour at stake, it is easily possible to envision a situation where they would also be excluded from the Ryder Cup. It would remain to be seen how the Four Majors react, although, as one well-known veteran pro pointed out on Tuesday night, a Masters official has a place on the PGA Tour board. “The Tour has most, if not all of the angles covered,” he said.
Nonetheless, the Saudi team of negotiators – which apparently no longer includes The Raine Group, the highly regarded US venture capitalists – has set up a camp in Jupiter, South Florida, where many golf heavyweights reside, and requires decisions imminently.
This means that the case could even affect the Ryder Cup in September and, if it does, the Kingdom, in its ever-growing mission to “ wash the sport ” of its reputation, could see the plan backfired.
“It will all start in the next few weeks, starting with this meeting tonight,” a source told Telegraph Sport. “It will be fascinating to hear how aggressive Monahan was with his language towards the big names. The Saudis believe the Tour cannot kick members out and that it could end in a big legal battle.
After Sport Telegraph exclusively revealed that the Saudis continued regardless, Colt Knost, the former Tour winner, revealed he spoke to Johnson’s agent. “He said to me, ‘that’s pretty crazy – they’re serious,” Knost said on Sirius XM.