Sports | November 12, 2021 12:13 pm

Report: PGA Tour Adding Guaranteed Big-Money Events to Retain Star Golfers From New Saudi-Backed Competitors

The Tour is creating a series of international tournaments to offer the world’s best golfers guaranteed money

The PGA Tour logo seen during the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines
The PGA Tour logo seen during the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty

In order to prevent the world’s best players from taking their talents elsewhere, the PGA Tour is creating a series of international tournaments that will offer big-money payouts of guaranteed money, according to Golfweek.

“The Tour intends to stage between four and six events annually outside of the United States, in Europe, Asia and the Middle East,” per the publication. “The series will begin in the fall of 2023 at the earliest, though possibly not until 2024. While internal discussions are continuing on specifics, tentative plans call for between four and six events, with fields limited to 50 or 60 competitors and no halfway cut. It has not been decided if the fields will be determined by the Official World Golf Ranking or FedEx Cup standings. A range of format options are being considered, including the possibility of a team component.”

The Tour, which is worried about losing players to the so-called Super Golf League as well as a new series of events on the Asian Tour backed by the Greg Norman-fronted LIV Golf Investments group, previously announced an alliance with the European Tour (now the DP World Tour) to prevent player poaching by potential rivals.

“LIV Golf Investments has secured a major capital commitment that will be used to create additive new opportunities across worldwide professional golf. We will be a cooperative and respectful supporter of the game at every level, and today’s announcement alongside the Asian Tour is the first example of that,” Norman said. “I have been a staunch supporter and believer in playing and developing golf in Asia for more than four decades. The Asian Tour is a sleeping giant and we share ambition to grow the series and unlock what we believe is significant untapped potential. We see our promotion of these new events as a vital first step in supporting emerging markets, creating a new platform, rich with playing opportunities that create valuable player pathways.”

Golf Saudi is behind the Super Golf League and helped fund LIV Golf Investments, according to CBS Sports. Another major shareholder in LIV Golf Investments is the Public Investment Fund, an investment arm of Saudi Arabia’s government, per The New York Times.

“We’re absolutely always looking at our future product and schedule, with all options on the table as to fields, formats and tournament locations, especially considering our advancing Strategic Alliance with the European Tour,” a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said when contacted by Golfweek about the new series. “No details or decisions have been made at this time.”