Pro Golfer Staunchly Supports the Saudi League Over the PGA Tour: ‘Why on Earth Would You Not Go…’

Published 05/02/2022, 7:27 AM EDT
January 8, 2022; Maui, Hawaii, USA; Jon Rahm hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort – The Plantation Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Saudi Golf League is in the limelight once again for the recent involvement of PGA Tour professionals. Various golfers have asked for a release to play on the rival tour. Amidst all the speculations, Matt Southgate recently spoke about what makes the Saudi-backed league catchy for young golfers.

Matt Southgate recently appeared on an episode of Sky Sport’s golf podcast. The DP World Tour professionals spoke about the LIV Golf International series. The English professional talked about how a current lot of golfers may not play on the rival tour, but it is the young generation of players who could join it.

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At the same time, he also discussed how the free-to-enter Q-school with colossal prize money purses could make the Saudi-backed Golf League more interesting. However, he spoke these words while expressing the loyalty of the current professionals in staying on the PGA Tour and showing disinterest towards the SGL.

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He said, “The most overlooked thing with the Saudi tour at the minute is that everybody is focusing on the players of today and nobody is thinking of the players of tomorrow. If they then produce the best players in the world, you instantly become second and third in the world. That’s five to 10 years of patiently waiting to produce your own players, and that’s scary”

May 7, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Phil Mickelson after his bogey on 15 during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

He added, “Everyone goes to PGA EuroPro Tour school to go and play for 10 grand a week, so why on earth would you not go to the Saudi tour school and earn much more? All they’re doing is taking a punt that you’re going to be the best players in 2026, 2027, or 2030. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Matt’s words seem to explain his support for the LIV Golf International series over the PGA Tour.

According to reports, 15 of the top 100 professionals in the world will play the opening event in June. The first event will be played at the Centurion Club. Norman also told Sports Illustrated that he plans to invite amateurs to participate in the eight-event schedule. If the report holds true, Southgate’s point highlighted in the podcast may become a reality.

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Who are the professionals supposedly competing in the SGL?

Phil Mickelson is among the group of professionals who have asked the PGA Tour for a release to play in the first event of the rival tour. A report by the Telegraph also suggests that the lefty has signed an agreement to play all the events. Moreover, he has also received a sum of $30 million upfront. Apart from him, Sergio Garcia has also asked the PGA Tour to allow him to play the first event. And the World Number 15 Louis Oosthuizen has also asked for the same.

Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, and Kevin Na are the other prominent names to ask for a release. However, only time will tell whether all of the speculated professionals will play on the SGL or not.

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What do you think about Southgate’s words?

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Bazif Qadri

550 articles

Bazif Qadri is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing BSC Economics Hons, Bazif is a golf enthusiast. Not only a fan, but he is also an avid golfer himself.

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