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Bryson DeChambeau has exactly $135 million worth of reasons to depart from the PGA Tour.
That’s the figure the Saudi-backed Super Golf League is reportedly offering the No. 9 ranked player in the world, per Sportsmail. DeChambeau, who is playing in the Saudi International this weekend, is one of many players to have received offers to join the SGL.
Veterans Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson are currently weighing $30 million proposals, per Golf Digest. Lee Westwood admitted during a press conference from the Saudi International Wednesday that he signed a non-disclosure agreement with the SGL. The PGA Tour has promised punishment and threatened lifetime bans if any player leaves for the SGL.
Perhaps the most outspoken PGA Tour member about the SGL has been Phil Mickelson. The six-time major winner told Golf Digest Wednesday that he has considered looking elsewhere. Mickelson called out the PGA Tour for its “obnoxious greed.”
“It’s not public knowledge, all that goes on,” Mickelson said. “But the players don’t have access to their own media. If the tour wanted to end any threat [from Saudi or anywhere else], they could just hand back the media rights to the players. But they would rather throw $25 million here and $40 million there than give back the roughly $20 billion in digital assets they control. Or give up access to the $50-plus million they make every year on their own media channel.
“There are many issues, but that is one of the biggest. For me personally, it’s not enough that they are sitting on hundreds of millions of digital moments. They also have access to my shots, access I do not have. They also charge companies to use shots I have hit. And when I did ‘The Match’—there have been five of them—the tour forced me to pay them $1 million each time. For my own media rights. That type of greed is, to me, beyond obnoxious.”
DeChambeau spoke about the SGL as recently as last year’s PGA Championship, where he revealed what it would take for him to go.
“From my perspective I’m not trying to make anybody mad. I’m not trying to make anybody side on one side,” DeChambeau said. “From my perspective I want the best for the players and for the fans, and whatever players do in regards to this tour or whatnot is going to make my decision. I will never commit to anything.
“From my perspective it’s about the players looking at it in a different way, and if they want to do that, then okay. If the players go, then I’ll probably follow suit.”
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