Tour pro makes huge Saudi Golf League claims


At least 17 of the game’s top stars have already signed up for a Saudi-backed breakaway golf league, according to tour pro Kramer Hickok. 

Many of the biggest names on the PGA Tour are understood to have been courted by the rival competition, with vast sums on offer to those who make the switch. 

In recent weeks those thought to have been contacted have remained tight-lipped, with Lee Westwood revealing he had signed a non-disclosure agreement over his involvement. 

However, reports emerged last week suggesting Bryson DeChambeau had been offered $240 million to be the face of the new venture, while Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter are also thought to have been tempted. 

• ‘Tone deaf’: Former tour pro blasts Saudi stars

PGA Tour bosses have promised to ban any golfer who defects. 

Speaking on the Stripe Show podcast, Hickok – although insisting he will not be taking part himself – revealed a number of details about the new “super league”. 

And he revealed the competition could be up and running as early as this summer. 

“You’re going to see a lot of big names jump over there,” he said.  

“There’s already been 17 guys that have jumped over. I can’t say who they are but there are going to be some big names going over there. 

“From what I’ve heard the money is very, very appealing. You are only going to have 12 to 14 events that are going to have huge purses. You’re not going to have to deal with missing a cut any more. There’s only going to be 40 players. 10 of those 14 events will be in the States. 

“Signing bonuses, huge purses – it’s going to be very appealing for some of these guys. 

• DeChambeau gets $240 million Saudi offer

“The word is the tour is going to start in June so you’re going to start seeing these changes in the spring. A lot of the guys have signed NDAs, and you’re seeing them signing at tournaments and getting a huge amount of money being wired to their bank accounts the next day.” 

“I think some of these guys are getting a little bit greedy,” he added. 

“To chase a few extra bucks might be greedy because we don’t know how long this tour is going to be around for, and if you do leave you are banned from the PGA Tour – the tour has come out and said that. 

“I think we’re starting to realise how money-hungry a lot of players on the PGA Tour are.” 

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