A week after news broke of Greg Norman becoming commissioner of a new Saudi-backed pro golf tour, the head of the London-based Premier Golf League told ESPN that it’s new plan involves a partnership with the PGA Tour.
Similar to the Saudi effort, this new offshoot would be comprised of small-field events playing for large purses with guaranteed paydays and massive signing bonuses.
Andy Gardiner, the entity’s CEO, told ESPN that his plan still calls for 12 Formula-One style teams with 48 players teeing it up in 54-hole events but co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour.
According to the ESPN article written by Bob Harig, there would be 18 PGL events with 10 based in the United States.
Interestingly, it was suggested that the league would take over existing PGA Tour events/venues, and simply rebrand them as a PGL event – similar to how the World Golf Championships worked, where it would add the ‘WGC’ acronym in front of the tournament name, e.g. PGL-Wells Fargo Championship.
Further, each event would offer a $20 million purse with a $4 million first-place prize and even $150,000 going to the 48th position (last-place). There would also be a team component each week — with the winning team splitting $1 million along with a season-ending team championship.
Gardiner claims that he’s not spoken to the PGA Tour but has sent along a proposal (which seems hard to believe).
“It’s not destructive,” Gardiner told ESPN. “It’s just a division created under them.
“We call it co-sanctioning. And the PGA Tour has shown there is value in the alternative fields.”