The Saudi Arabian Gulf Tour: hope for sporty allure – sport

It took ten days before a response came from the United States. In the week and a half since the first tournament of the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Tour near London, the PGA Tour has had to take a few hits: One by one, players have said goodbye to the new Saudi Sports Wash Tour, most recently by Brooks Koepka, one of the most prominent faces. In sports, he announced his move. Jay Monahan, the dominant US tour commissioner to date, must have made countless phone calls during this time, with interested players – but above all with the back-end funders working with him on his historic leap in prize money.

An additional $160 million, spread over some of the year’s biggest tournaments in the US and a new international series with special prize money – that’s the answer from the PGA Tour, which looks to be reaching its financial limit. The message to the players is clear: if you want to make big money, you don’t have to play for Saudi Arabia. This will only be necessary if a lot of money is not enough.

Because even with the special package, it is clear that the Americans cannot keep up with the Saudis financially in the long run. “The PGA Tour can’t compete with a foreign ownership spending billions of dollars to buy golf,” Monahan said. In this regard, the amount of new money should be understood as an additional motivation and as a sign of one’s willingness to go to the limit for the well-being of the big players.

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The PGA Tour’s decision contradicts the idea of ​​promoting the sport on a large scale

Phil Mickelson, who now plays on the LIV Tour, announced last year that he just wanted to use the Saudis as a bargaining chip to make more money in the US anyway – ironically he’s done so now but he’s out of the PGA Tour banned due to his transfer. The beneficiaries of the maneuver that Michelson devised are now those who remain.

The PGA Tour’s decision to pump more money into its major events contrasts with the idea of ​​promoting the sport widely: first and foremost, those who already have a lot will get more. In a way, it resembles the decision of UEFA, which in 2021 responded to the efforts of major European football clubs to establish the Super League with more money for Champions League participants. But at the same time, both organizations made the right decision on one thing: there are no guarantees. Access to a significant amount of money still depends on athletic qualifications.

The integrity of the competition is preserved, only the best have a chance to earn (absurdly much) money – and everyone has a chance to belong to the circle of the best on the sports track. This is the crucial difference in the concept of the Premier League and the LIV Tour: there’s just an invite, of which there’s also an entry fee at the top.

This lack of competition is now also the factor on which the entire golf world depends: The LIV Tour will show what happens when full golfers play for gigantic sums several times a year in trivial sporting invitation events. The hope is that Sports Appeal will eventually win.

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