Niall Horan Invests In Rory McIlroy’s TGL Team As Tyrrell Hatton Replacement Confirmed

The former One Direction singer has invested in Boston Common Golf as Tyrrell Hatton's replacement is announced

Niall Horan (right) and Rory McIlroy look on at the 2018 Dubai Desert Classic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy's long-time friend and solo music artist, Niall Horan has taken up part ownership in the Northern Irishman's TGL club, Boston Common.

Horan's Greenbridge Ventures will back Boston in the new tech-infused league alongside Fenway Sports Group and McIlroy's own Symphony Ventures, with the former One Direction singer also serving as an ambassador for the team and bringing his combined social-media following of 72 million on board.

After meeting McIlroy in Sydney, Australia during 2014, the Irish singer - who is a huge golf fan himself and recently held a handicap of eight - has gone on to caddy for McIlroy at The Masters Par 3 contest, famously falling over while carrying the four-time Major winner's clubs. 

Horan has also travelled around the world to support McIlroy at various events, including the Ryder Cup and Dubai Desert Classic - as well as playing alongside the Northern Irishman in several Pro-Ams.

In a statement on Boston Common's website, Horan said: “Golf has been a lifelong passion of mine and I’m thrilled to be part of this exciting new venture alongside my investment group Greenbridge Ventures in partnership with Fenway Sports Group and Rory, who has been a longtime friend.

“I can’t wait to experience team golf in this unique format that merges technology with green grass play. Being able to combine my love for the game and my friendship with Rory into a relationship that helps launch a new concept in golf is truly special. It’s a fantastic opportunity and I think this new league backed by both Tiger Woods and Rory and team will bring a fresh perspective to the sport I adore.”

Niall Horan Rory McIlroy One Direction

TGL will feature six teams of four players taking it in turns to hit shots into a giant simulator screen, finishing out the hole in the real-space short-game area which includes an adaptable green complex inside the bespoke SoFi Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The inaugural season - which begins in January 2025 following a year's delay - will include 15 matches per team, plus the end-of-term playoffs, in two-hour primetime slots on ESPN and ESPN+ at the start of the week.

Six teams are slated to compete next year, with Boston taking on Atlanta Drive GC, Jupiter Links GC, Los Angeles Golf Club, New York Golf Club and the Bay Golf Club. Among those teams, investors include high-profile athletes such as Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, Steph Curry, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Other backers include Arthur Blank, Steve Cohen, Alexis Ohanian, Marc Lasry, and Woods' Jupiter GC partner, David Blitzer.

And the newest player signing to the tech-infused league is Hideki Matsuyama - the World No.12 and 2021 Masters champion. The first Japanese man ever to win a Major will team up with McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, and Adam Scott in the Boston Common squad - replacing LIV golfer Tyrrell Hatton.

The Englishman was rendered ineligible for the PGA Tour-affiliated competition after his move to the 54-hole rival circuit in January, and McIlroy's squad moved to sign up a nine-time PGA Tour winner as his replacement.

Speaking to Boston Common's media team about the news, Matsuyama said: “I’m excited to join Boston Common Golf and be a part of TGL. Teaming up with Rory, Keegan, and Adam – three incredible players I deeply respect – fills me with excitement and anticipation.

"Together, I hope we can push the boundaries of golf and create an unforgettable new experience for fans around the world. Most importantly, I am looking forward to the four of us winning championships together.”

The four Boston players have all won at least one Major championship, with McIlroy owning four and his three teammates earning victories at the 2011 PGA Championship (Bradley), 2013 Masters (Scott), and 2021 Masters (Matsuyama).

The Common club bringing in Matsuyama not only offers them a quality player, but also a huge name in the Asian market - supplementing iconic faces from the US, Australia, and Europe.

Discussing the move, Boston Common Golf president and CEO, Mark Lev, said: “On behalf of Boston Common Golf and everyone at Fenway Sports Group, I want to express our deep appreciation to Hideki for joining this groundbreaking venture that will showcase team golf like never before.

“Hideki’s calm demeanor and resilience will perfectly complement Rory’s dynamic skills, Adam’s experience, and Keegan’s tenacity, making us a formidable force. His historic Masters victory, technical precision, and unwavering work ethic have solidified his place among golf’s elite, and with him, we become a team of players representing four continents, each a Major champion.

"His commitment to promoting golf globally and in Japan through youth clinics is inspiring a new generation and we are fortunate to have him on our team.”

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. During his time with Golf Monthly, Jonny has interviewed several stars of the game, including Robert MacIntyre, Ian Poulter, and Lee Westwood. An improving golfer himself, Jonny enjoys learning as much about the game as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Open Championships and dreams of attending The Masters one day.