The Dominion Post
Biggest names offered US$30m to join breakaway ‘Super League’
Many of golf’s biggest names, including world No 1 Dustin Johnson and England’s Justin Rose, have received contracts worth up to US$100 million (NZ$140 million) to take part in a breakaway ‘World Tour’ that has forced them to choose between Saudi money and the PGA Tour and perhaps even The Masters and Ryder Cup.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monagan yesterday warned the wouldbe rebels that they face an instant suspension and a lifetime ban.
The mandatory players meeting at Quail Hollow in Boise, Idaho, fell silent as the audience took in the seismic consequences.
While the majority considered the Premier Golf League to be dead in the water after significant tour efforts to kill the idea, The Telegraph can reveal that formal offers worth US$30 million (NZ$42 million) to US$50 million (NZ$70 million) up front are being mulled over by 11 players, including – alongside Johnson and Rose – Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik
Stenson, Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler.
American veteran Phil Mickelson has purportedly been offered US$100 million to act as the de facto head of the rebels.
So, despite the likes of 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 are intending to start their circuit in September, 2022.
Similar to the Super League and European football, the news has caused huge shockwaves throughout a sport that believed Monahan had already effectively blown away the proposed revolution.
Yet, it seems, the demise of the PGL has been greatly exaggerated. It is thought that as well as an initial fortune, the contracts offer half a share in their ‘‘teams’’. Each of these team leaders would be joined by three other players in the 48-man fields and the prizemoney would be, in the words of one insider, ‘‘astronomical’’ in the 18 worldwide events.
However, Monahan, when he addressed the players on the eve of the Wells Fargo Championship, empathically re-emphasised that it would come at a seismic cost to their careers.
He has previously declared that any player who signs up will no longer be a member of the PGA Tour and with the European Tour onside it is easily possible to envisage a situation when they would also be excluded from the Ryder Cup.
It would remain to be seen how the four majors would react.