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Volume 26 No. 22
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Sources: New Global Golf Circuit Being Planned With $20M Purses

A new global golf circuit is being planned, in what would be the "biggest upheaval in the professional game in decades," according to sources cited by Andrew Both of REUTERS. To be named the World Golf Series, the circuit proposed by the British-based World Golf Group has been in the "planning stages for more than a year." Sources said that the group "hopes to stage 15-to-20 yearly tournaments around the world," each offering a purse close to $20M. Such a figure would "dwarf the prize money" currently offered by the PGA Tour, whose biggest purse this season is $11M. Several blue-chip sponsors are "believed to be on board for the World Golf Series if top players can be signed." But the new tour "faces major hurdles, not least that it is likely to meet staunch opposition from the PGA Tour." The new tour is also "unlikely to be sanctioned for world ranking points, which could on its own make it a non-starter." Ranking points are used to "determine eligibility for the four major championships, which are not run by the PGA Tour." The series sounds "eerily similar to the world tour proposed by then-number one Greg Norman more than two decades ago -- a plan that went nowhere after the PGA Tour played hardball." The PGA Tour will "likely play hardball again to try to see off a threat to its near monopoly on the world’s best talent" (REUTERS, 5/21).