PGL seeks PGA Tour meeting after prior rebuffs

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The pinnacle of the proposed Premier Golf League is hoping to have a dialog with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and has reached out to him this week with hopes of explaining his idea.

Andy Gardiner, the CEO of the Premier Golf League, advised ESPN an interview Wednesday that he is been searching for such a gathering for 2 years.

“All we would like is a dialog,” Gardiner mentioned. “We have by no means been the enemy. However I can perceive why we have been perceived as such. However we would like to be pals. I’ve not had that chance to date. And I will likely be redoubling my efforts. We wish to have a dialog in the absolute best method to make sure they perceive the place we’re coming from and why we’re doing it and to make sure that no one’s emotions will likely be exhausting carried out.”

The venture is backed by British-based World Golf Group and the thought has been within the works for greater than six years, with the fundamentals being a 18-tournament schedule from January to August with 48 gamers in 54-hole tournaments that will start in 2023.

Gardiner mentioned there would even be girls’s and junior elements to the tour, which might usually be performed Friday by Sunday, with the primary two rounds performed as a shotgun begin and twosomes for the ultimate spherical. The thought is to have 12 occasions within the U.S. and 6 others performed internationally, with room for the most important championships and Ryder Cup.

The massive hook for attainable gamers is $20 million weekly purses. In contrast to the Saudi-backed Tremendous League Golf, which made headlines final month when phrase got here out about enormous sign-on charges for the highest gamers, the Premier Golf League — which at one time entertained the Saudis — is performance-based.

That mentioned, with $150,000 minimums for ending final per week, a participant stands to earn not less than $3 million per yr, not together with any workforce payouts.

Making this work with the PGA Tour is a big sticking level. Regardless of Tour gamers being labeled as unbiased contractors, they nonetheless are topic to rules to be a part of the PGA Tour. Amongst them is the Tour proudly owning their media rights.

Meaning a participant who needs to play in a competing occasion should get a launch from the PGA Tour, or in essence, permission. When Phil Mickelson, for instance, determined to play within the Saudi Worldwide in February versus the PGA Tour’s Waste Administration Phoenix Open, he needed to search a launch.

A participant is usually granted three of those per yr in return for assembly Tour obligations, which embody enjoying a minimal of 15 occasions. To get extra, in idea, different necessities can be requested.

Gamers similar to Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, who’re from Northern Eire and Spain, respectively, are allowed to play limitless occasions in Europe on their “residence” tour as lengthy they keep their 15-event minimal on the PGA Tour — a stipulation for which the Tour is kind of strict.

In 2015, Germany’s Martin Kaymer — who had gained the Gamers Championship and U.S. Open the yr prior — misplaced his PGA Tour membership in 2016 as a result of he had not met the 15-tournament minimal. He nonetheless had entry to PGA Tour occasions through sponsor exemptions, however was restricted to 12 complete together with the most important championships. And he was not eligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs.

It’s tough to check the PGA Tour permitting somebody to play 18 instances on one other circuit, as that may be a requirement of the PGL.

“It will be fascinating to see what the place is,” Gardiner mentioned. “We’ve got made an strategy within the final 24 hours setting out our ideas in the absolute best method. We simply wish to have this dialog for these causes and we predict it is workable.

“We would require these within the league to commit on a contractual foundation so long as they’re match to play 18 in a season. We consider they’re unbiased contractors, and so long as they flip up as required, we will guarantee them that this would be the greatest place. It has been carried out in Method One. It has been carried out in tennis, different sports activities. Golf is without doubt one of the few sports activities left the place followers and broadcasters and sponsors are left with a lottery as to who they’re going to get.

“I do know the prevailing PGA Tour guidelines. The gamers will finally resolve the place they’re going to play. There have been rumors of bans and never getting rating factors, however all people ought to have the fitting to decide on how and when and the place they work. These guys are professionals. If the PGA Tour modifications its guidelines that permits them to stay members … we hope that will be possible.”

For now, the PGA Tour is sustaining that any participant who joins the PGL or the Tremendous League Golf would lose their membership and face a attainable ban.

Additionally it is unclear how the Official World Golf Rating would deal with PGL occasions. Gardiner prompt that the most important championships would need all the greatest gamers, and thus would possibly tailor their qualification standards.

Gardiner, 49, is a London-based lawyer who labored at a regulated funding administration firm that had dealings in golf. He lengthy heralded the thought of a “world tour” that he mentioned he was annoyed to by no means see come to cross.

At one level, he penned a 100-page doc through which he put collectively his concept for a world tour through which the highest gamers would compete towards one another from week to week. That developed into the Premier Golf League, which first surfaced publicly in January of 2020.

Gardiner mentioned the group was not able to go public at the moment, and the coronavirus served to place it within the background. However someday final yr, the PGL entered into critical discussions with the European Tour about some kind of partnership – which was aborted when the PGA Tour and the European Tour shaped a strategic alliance in November.

“It took just a little second to step again and rethink our path,” Gardiner mentioned. “It was at that second that we started to work and put our timetable in place. We wanted to let everybody know what we’re about. Right here we’re. What motivates us. We began this as followers of the sport and we’re nonetheless large followers of the sport. We’re solely doing what we’re doing as a result of we consider will probably be higher long run for the league to exist. We went again and reapplied every thing we realized.”

Among the many modifications had been a rise in purses to $20 million per week and a participant draft idea that may see the 48 gamers come from the 12 groups with house owners who could or is probably not gamers. There may be additionally a Thirteenth-team part that will see a fan-owned workforce that chooses gamers.

In contrast to the PGA Tour, the PGL would personal all the tournaments. As a substitute of title sponsors, there can be numerous groupings of sponsors would generally be on board for all 18 tournaments.

Gardiner mentioned that no offers have been struck with any gamers, venues or broadcast networks, though quite a few conversations have taken place on all of these ranges.

“To take care of confidences, I’ve by no means named people,” Gardiner mentioned. “I can say the dialogue we have had with gamers or their brokers has given us a robust cross part of our market and the reply is we have spoken to almost everybody.”

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