Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are spearheading a new venture that will have the world’s top golfers compete against each other in a greenless course environment, Golf week has learned. Multiple sources say a series of events will be held in partnership with the PGA Tour and that more details could be announced by Commissioner Jay Monahan this week at the Tour Championship.
The one-day events are designed to complement the PGA Tour schedule and will begin in 2024, according to multiple sources familiar with the concept. Early thinking suggests the matches — which will be technological and staged with a live audience — could run from January to March, with the final taking place later. Discussions regarding broadcast and gaming partners are ongoing. A source at NBC Sports says the network has the option to be the media partner in the venture.
Details of the plan were shared with Tour members who attended the Aug. 16 players-only meeting during the BMW Championship, for which Woods made a special trip from his home in Florida. It was presented as a long-term opportunity for players to build equity in the business, which will have private funding in addition to corporate partnerships and sponsors. The proposal was well received by the players in the room, according to a source familiar with the discussion.
Woods and McIlroy began working on the project more than two years ago, a partnership that friends say brought them closer. This eventually prompted the two superstars to come together to rally other players behind the PGA Tour in the face of the threat posed by LIV Golf. They have been among the most outspoken critics of the Saudi-sponsored league.
Woods and McIlroy arranged an informal meeting of players to discuss tackling LIV Golf during last month’s JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor in Ireland. At the follow-up meeting held in Wilmington last week, more concrete plans to improve and innovate the Tour’s product were presented to a larger group of players. Twenty-two of the game’s biggest stars were in the room. Some of those proposals — including program changes that would ensure top players compete against each other more often — are now on Monahan’s desk. The new digital project spearheaded by Woods and McIlroy has already won the commissioner’s buy-in, multiple sources said Golf week.
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods during the R&A Champions Celebration four-hole challenge at the 150th Open Championship golf tournament at the Old St. Andrews. (Photo by Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports)
While the details of the project remain a closely guarded secret, more information is expected to be released in the coming days on the Tour Championship, including details on the format, potential participants, experiential elements and the planned location of the events.
A PGA Tour spokesman declined to comment on any issues Monahan might address at his news conference, scheduled for Tuesday at East Lake Golf Club.
The story originally appeared on GolfWeek