Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy Launch Tech-Infused Virtual Golf League

By Jason Hall

August 24, 2022

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Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy announced plans to launch a new, virtual golf league in partnership with the PGA Tour on Wednesday (August 24) in a news release shared on the league's official website.

'TGL' will feature six three-man teams in 15 regular season matches and a playoff competing in "a first-of-its kind experience" played on 18-hole virtual courses during two-hour primetime televised broadcasts beginning in January 2024.

The 15 regular season matches are set to air live on Monday nights and will be followed by semifinals and finals matches.

Renderings released by TGL on Wednesday appear to show a massive simulator in which golfers will hit longer shots into, as well as an authentic green area designated for chipping and putting.

McIlroy, 33, confirmed that Woods, 46, planned to compete in the upcoming TGL matches, though didn't specify when that would take place. The 15-time Major champion recently competed in the Open Championship in July, just 17 months removed life-threatening car crash.

"Who knows where we're going to see Tiger Woods play golf next, right?" McIlroy said via ESPN. "We don't know what his schedule is going to be. We don't know how his body is going to be. But to be able to see him still showcase his skills on prime time, on TV without really any wear and tear on his body, I think to be able to see Tiger hit golf shots and still sort of provide people with a glimpse of his genius -- I think it is a really good use of his time."

Woods called the new virtual league the "next evolution within professional golf" in a statement obtained by ESPN.

"Embracing technology to create this unique environment gives us the ability to move our sport into primetime on a consistent basis alongside so many of sports' biggest events," Woods said. "As a big sports fan myself, I'm excited about blending golf with technology and team elements common in other sports.

"We all know what it's like to be in a football stadium or a basketball arena where you can watch every play, every minute of action unfold right in front of you. It's something that inherently isn't possible in traditional golf -- and an aspect of TGL that will set it apart and appeal to a new generation of fans."

McIlroy finished the BMW Championship at nine-under -- five strokes behind tournament winner Patrick Cantlay (-13) -- to tie for eighth, earning his ninth top-10 finish for 2021-22.

The new league comes amid the emergence of LIV Golf, which has already signed several of golf's biggest names, including Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka, to multiyear deals, which reportedly include guaranteed salaries ranging between $100 million and $200 million.

Woods, who reportedly turned down a contract with LIV Golf estimated to be around $700 million and $800 million, has publicly shown support for the PGA Tour amid the emergence of the new league, which has controversial ties to the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

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