Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy ‘money’ accusation fired over new PGA Tour venture

Rory McIlroy on Ryder Cup

A new technology-led team golf competition that is backed by the PGA Tour has been met with scepticism by rival LIV golfers, with one suggesting that it has only been created to keep part-owners Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy happy after both players passed up the opportunity to join the Saudi-backed breakaway tour.

The inaugural TGL season will get underway in January 2024, with some of the biggest names from the PGA Tour already signed up to compete in a mid-week team format 15-match regular season followed by semifinals and finals matches.

The competition will be staged in a purpose-built 2,000-capacity indoor venue, with the action taking place on a huge state-of-the-art golfing simulator and specially designed chipping area.

Woods and McIlroy will be joined by a clutch of Ryder Cup stars including Jon Rahm, Max Homa, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Thomas, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Xander Schauffele, Shane Lowry and Rickie Fowler.

Organisers of the TGL are promising to give golf fans a “high-tech, high energy” experience, players on the Private Investment Fund (PIF)-backed LIV Golf league are said to be rolling their eyes at the announcement.

According to the Telegraph, one LIV player said: “Will you be turning in on a Tuesday night to watch guys hitting it into a screen? It’s a blatant fop to Tiger and Rory to keep them onside and earn them millions of guess what, ‘guaranteed money’.”

British LIV golf star Ian Poulter took a more philosophical view on the idea and appears to view it as a back-handed compliment to the concept of the team golf played on the LIV tour.

Poulter told the Telegraph: “Everyone – big businesses, celebrities, sports stars – suddenly want to get in with team sports. Look at Wrexham [Football Club] with those Hollywood actors and other superstars at other teams, clubs and franchises.”

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Referencing McIlroy’s decision to invest in the Alpine motor racing team alongside Anthony Joshua and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Poulter added: “Look at the news in F1. It’s not just the potential profit margin, it’s being involved and the fun to be had. It’s a win, win. Everyone wants a bit and I think LIV has been a leader in this, yeah. Definitely in golf.”

The TGL will be broadcast live on ESPN in the US every Monday from January next year from the purpose-built SoFi Center in Florida.

Woods and McIlory both turned down huge financial offers to join LIV golf 18 months ago, preferring to stay loyal to the PGA Tour, but the two waring outfits have since announed that they will work alongside each other in a ‘framework agreement’.

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