There has been a huge amount of secrecy surrounding the breakaway Saudi Golf League, with multiple players signing non-disclosure agreements, reports of eye-watering amounts of money being offered to individuals and, according to Phil Mickelson, "pretty much" everyone in the world's top 100 being contacted by the SGL.
However, in a tweet by Alan Shipnuck, could this be the first notable sign of when announcements will be made regarding the breakaway League?
In the tweet, the former Sports Illustrated journalist wrote that: "A very prominent Tour agent tells me the Saudi plan has always been to announce once they have signed 20 players…and they just got to 20. A formal kick-off is now expected the week of the Players, the PGA Tour’s flagship event."
Earlier this week, PGA Tour player, Kramer Hickok, revealed on the Stripe Show podcast that he thinks 17 golfers have already "jumped over" to the rumoured Saudi-backed Super League. So, with the alleged number being 20, it is possible an announcement will be made at The Players Championship, which gets underway on the 10th of March.
A very prominent Tour agent tells me the Saudi plan has always been to announce once they have signed 20 players…and they just got to 20. A formal kick-off is now expected the week of the Players, the PGA Tour’s flagship event. I respect the bitchiness.February 17, 2022
Due to the very real threat of the SGL, the DP and PGA Tours have threatened to impose bans on those that join the breakaway League. However, it won't seem to affect players when it comes to the biggest events of the year.
When asked on Twitter: "What will the Major Championships do?" Shipnuck simply responded: "Absolutely nothing," going on to tweet: "The Saudi Golf League will fly under the flag of the Asian Tour, which is reputable and, more to the point, gives out World Ranking points. The SGL will be an easy way to play your way into the Top 50…and thus get invited to every major."
According to the Daily Mail, the Saudis are luring golf's leading stars by offering shares of a gigantic £1.5 billion pot, with five 'future Ryder Cup captains' allegedly sitting on £20 million signing-on proposals.
We do know that Lee Westwood has signed an NDA, and that Ian Poulter has reportedly been offered up to $30m to join the breakaway League. Just recently, renowned instructor, Jim McClean, revealed that a source told him Bryson DeChambeau is one of the players moving, with the American reportedly offered $240 million to be the face of SGL.
At a Genesis Invitational press conference on Wednesday, Adam Scott became the most recent player to give praise to the SGL, revealing that: "The schedule is very appealing" and that "like everyone else, we're sworn to secrecy (regarding the league)."
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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