Golf: New golf league gets interest from PGA players, says report

Phil Mickelson (above) is among PGA Tour players “intrigued” by a proposed Premier Golf League. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Five-time major champion Phil Mickelson is among PGA Tour players "intrigued" by a proposed new tour, the Premier Golf League, according to reports.

A report by Golf Channel analyst Geoff Shackelford detailed plans for the series, with Mickelson telling ESPN of his interest after missing the cut at Torrey Pines on Friday (Jan 24) in the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I'm curious, but I don't know enough to talk about it," the 49-year-old said.

"I'm listening to it. I think it's intriguing, but I just don't know enough about it to comment publicly. I hope to learn more."

The Premier Golf League was a hot topic at a players meeting this week at San Diego which PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan attended, ESPN reported.

Mark Steinberg, who serves as the agent for Tiger Woods and several other golfers, noted how the idea of a new tour for elite players has been raised before.

"It's obviously resurfacing right now," he told ESPN. "We'll see if they take it to the next level."

The idea of a top-level golf series was pushed a quarter-century ago by Australian star Greg Norman but opposed by PGA officials and the concept helped guide the creation of the World Golf Championships, within the existing tours.

A statement from the Premier Golf League said it intends to cooperate with existing circuits such as the European Tour and PGA Tour even as it builds its own series running from January through August.

"It is our intention to work with, rather than challenge, existing tours for the betterment of golf as a sport, pastime and media property," the statement said.

"We appreciate the interest and look forward to providing everyone with further details."

The World Golf Group plans feature a January 2022 launch with individual and team league formats for 48 of golf's best players competing for themselves and on 12 four-person teams in 18 events, 10 of them staged on US soil.

Each event would have 54 holes with shotgun starts the first two days and two tees on the final day to help fit play into a five-hour span.

The series says it would offer US$240 million (S$320,000) in prize money with individual winners taking US$2 million from a US$10 million purse in each event as well as team prize money.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.