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World’s top golfers reportedly offered $30m to join Saudi-backed Super League

Super League golf

Rory McIlroy last year spoke out against the proposed tour.

A number of the world’s top golfers have been offered lucrative contracts to join a breakaway, Super League-esque tour, bankrolled by Saudi money.

According to The Telegraph, 11 players, including world number one Dustin Johnson, four-time major winner Brooks Koepka and US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, have received formal contract offers worth between $30m to $50m.

As per the report, joining the cash-rich world tour may force some of the top-ranked players to turn their backs on the PGA Tour, The Masters and the Ryder Cup.

Golf Super League

Golf Super League.

Other names to feature in the report include Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler, while 50-year-old Phil Mickelson has supposedly been offered an eye-watering $100m.

The proposed tour – which bears striking similarities to the European Super League concept that briefly threatened to upend European football in April – would feature approximately 40 players competing in 18 tournaments across the globe.

The tour – which could feature 54-hole tournaments and a team element similar in nature to Formula 1 – would boast enormous prize money at each with organisers hoping to launch in September 2022.

Super League golf

Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson could join the golf Super League.

The Premier Golf League emerged as a genuine threat to golf’s main tours last year, which prompted a new “strategic alliance” between the PGA Tour and European Tour that is expected to lead to co-sanctioned events.

The PGL suffered a significant blow when Rory McIlroy spoke out against it.

“The more I’ve thought about it, the more I don’t like it,” said McIlroy in February 2020.

“The one thing as a professional golfer in my position that I value is the fact that I have autonomy and freedom over everything that I do. I pick and choose; this [week] is a perfect example. Some guys this week made the choice to not come to Mexico. If you go and play this other golf league, you’re not going to have that choice.

McIlroy on the Premier Golf League.

“I read a thing the other day where it said if you take the money they can tell you what to do, so if you don’t take the money, they can’t tell you what to do. I think that’s my thing, I’ve never been one for being told what to do, and I like to have that autonomy and freedom over my career. I feel like I would give that up by going to play this other league.

“For me, I’m out. My position is I’m against it until there may come a day that I can’t be against it. If everyone else goes I might not have a choice, but at this point I don’t like what they’re proposing.”

The resurfacing of the Premier Golf League comes at an interesting time, just two weeks before the start of this year’s PGA Championship. It is also sure to dominate discussion at this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, where McIlroy, DeChambeau, Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm are competing.

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