Golf

Premier Golf League set for 2023 launch, with plans due to be unveiled

The £250 million Premier Golf League (PGL) is planning to launch in January 2023, with further plans to be revealed later this week, PGL boss Andy Gardiner has said.

The PGL, a new project run by British-based World Golf Group, would include 18 tournaments targeting the top 48 male players in the world with each event offering prize money far exceeding those currently on the PGA Tour.

Gardiner said each competition would be worth $20m (£14m) with the winner picking up a $4m prize and last place receiving $150,000.

The Players Championship offers the biggest purse on the PGA Tour for a single event at $2.7m for the winner from a $15m prize pot.

The project is not related to the Saudi-backed Super Golf League (SGL).

The PGL have not announced the involvement of any players or venues. The PGA and European Tour have previously warned that defectors could be subject to expulsion. In its current form, the PGA Tour requires releases for conflicting events on other tours that are typically limited to a handful of events each year.

On Monday, Gardiner told BBC Sport: “The January 2023 date right now is entirely feasible. We will see how the conversations go with the community that we want to embrace.”

On the subject of expulsion, Gardiner said that players should not be expelled from existing tours should they wish to join the PGL. “Individuals shouldn’t live in fear of exclusion of not being able to work,” he said. “Competition law exists to ensure there is a level playing field and everybody in these circumstances can compete for the services of the best players in the world.

“Different bodies create their own sets of rules to protect what they have and then it’s a question of whether the rules that they have in place are fair and that’s when you look at the relevant law.”

Gardiner also said that PGL has not been in discussions with the PGA Tour, although he outlined his desire to speak with “the bodies that represent the [golf] community.”

PGL released a statement on Tuesday, which read: “We’re doing this because we believe professional golf can and should do better, for the fans, players and golf’s wider community. Our sole objective is to get more people watching and playing the game we love.”

ESPN reported last month that the PGA tour’s star players, including Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson, had received big offers to play in the PGL.

Ricke Fowler later confirmed that he and his team have been approached and that he is waiting to see how it plays out, while Rory McIlroy said he would not leave the PGA, calling the breakaway league “a money grab.”

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