Woods-McIlroy plans to derail LIV Golf


PGA is planning gold in stadiums Image: Upper Deck Golfing

Golf greats Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are set to team up to spearhead a new Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour ‘stadium’ competition amid the body’s battle against LIV Golf.

‘Mirror’ stated that the lucrative LIV Golf series is funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and it has divided golf, leaving the PGA and DP World Tours fractured after the new series poached some of the sport’s biggest names. Several of the world’s most prominent players have decided to switch to LIV Golf, including the likes of American professional golfers Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.

Eldrick Tont ‘Tiger’ Woods is an American professional golfer. He is tied for first in PGA Tour wins, ranks second in men’s major championships, and holds numerous golf records. Woods is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time and is one of the most famous athletes in modern history.

Rory Daniel McIlroy MBE is a professional golfer from Northern Ireland who is a member of both the European and PGA Tours. He is a former world number one in the Official World Golf Ranking, having spent over 100 weeks in that position during his career.

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) is the professional body which represents the interests of teaching and club golf professionals in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It was established in 1901 and is based at The Belfry near Birmingham, England (UK).

The PGA Tour is the organizer of the main professional golf tours played by men in the United States and North America.

The DP World Tour is the main men’s professional golf tour of the European Tour group, with a global schedule featuring a minimum of 46 tournaments in 27 different countries across the 2022 season.

LIV Golf is a professional golf tour financed by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. The name LIV is a reference to the Roman numeral for 54, the score if every hole on a par-72 course were birdied and the number of holes to be played at LIV events.

‘Mirror’ further stated that Woods and McIlroy have been two of the biggest supporters of the PGA Tour as the traditional tour has been divided by the controversial new Saudi-backed LIV Golf series. The duo has seemingly taken it upon themselves to lead the retaliation against the breakaway tour.

Their plan was shared with fellow professionals during the players-only meeting to discuss the response to the rise of LIV Golf in Wilmington, Delaware (US) last week.

The duo proposed a series of one-day events that will be staged before a live audience in a non-green grass stadium environment which will showcase cutting-edge technology too.

The events will be hosted by the PGA Tour and will be integrated into their schedule to complement other tournaments rather than conflict. They will reportedly launch in 2024, running from January through to March with a finale scheduled for later in the season.

The proposed project has been years in the making for both Woods and McIlroy, and the pair presented the plans in an attempt to derail the momentum of LIV Golf. The project – along with their united stance against the series with Woods reportedly turning down a $800 million offer to join – reportedly brought them closer together.

The meeting where Woods and McIlroy last presented their plans lasted 3.5 hours as they pitched the idea as a long-term opportunity for players to build equity in the enterprise, which will have private funding as well as corporate partnerships and sponsors. The proposal was reportedly received well by the 22 players who attended the meeting and the plan has been passed onto PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan.

After the meeting, McIlroy lavished praise on Woods, labeling him as the ‘alpha’ of the group. On the 15-time major champion’s determined approach to helping the PGA Tour, McIlroy said, “We’re all great players but we’re not Tiger Woods. He is the hero that we’ve all looked up to and his voice carries further than anyone else’s in the game of golf. His role is navigating us to a place where we all think we should be. I think it’s pretty apparent that whenever we all get in the room there’s an alpha in there and it’s not me. He cares a lot.”

The Northern Irishman added, “It shows how much he cares about the tour, it shows how much he cares about the players that are coming through and are going to be the next generation. He’s carried the tour for a long, long time. Players that were his contemporaries, we’ve all benefited from that.”

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