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As the so-called Saudi Golf League continues to gather momentum, another rival breakaway professional tour has revealed that it is keen to work on its proposals with – rather than against – the PGA Tour.

The Premier Golf League – a separate entity to the Greg Norman-led, Saudi-funded proposition – originally intended to launch under its own steam in January 2023.

In June, the £250million, Formula 1-style circuit shared plans to shake up the game with a schedule of 18 events, each offering a
staggering $20m prize fund. Of that, it was reported that $4m will go to the winner – a 48%
increase on the biggest cheque the PGA Tour currently offers to the
winner of its PLAYERS Championship.

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However, its CEO, Andy Gardiner, has told ESPN that, whilst he intends to push ahead with the proposals, he would now prefer to pursue them in tandem with the PGA Tour. That may or may not have something to do with the fact that, according to ESPN, “several members” of his PGL team have jumped shipped to Norman’s so-called Saudi venture.

“It’s not destructive,” Gardiner is reported as saying of the PGL. “It’s just a division created under [the PGA Tour]. We call it co-sanctioning. And the PGA Tour has shown there is value in the alternative fields.”

So far, however, the PGA Tour doesn’t appear to share Gardiner’s enthusiasm. According to the PGL boss, they have yet to respond to him.

“It’s difficult for them to engage with us because this is an
innovation that applies to 250 voting members of PGA Tour Inc. and they
also run five other tours,” he added.

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“They have a responsibility to
probably 1,500 other guys plus whatever they’ve undertaken with European
Tour members [as part of a collaboration]. So I can see it being
difficult.

“I do believe a lot of the apprehension could overcome
if we are able to get around the table. I think a nudge from the
membership would probably enable us to.”


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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