Woods and McIlroy have been two of the PGA Tour’s biggest supporters amid golf’s battle between the traditional tour and the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series and the duo have taken it upon themselves to contribute to the fightback.
The plan was shared with their fellow professionals during the crunch players-only meeting held in Wilmington, Delaware on August 16, which was believed to be organized in response to the ongoing LIV Golf threat.
The pair have a proposed a series of one-day events that will be staged in front of a live audience, be technology-forward and be held in a non-green grass, stadium environment, according to Golfweek.
The events will be held in partnership with the PGA Tour and will complement, rather than conflict with, the Tour’s schedule.
They will reportedly launch in 2024 and will run from January through to March with a finale scheduled for later in the season.
Broadcast and gaming partners are reportedly being discussed with NBC Sports touted as a potential media partner.
It is not clear exactly what the events will entail but more details are expected to be revealed by commissioner Jay Monahan at the Tour Championship next week.
The project has been two years in the making for Woods and McIlroy and the duo presented the idea to other anti-LIV pros last Tuesday as the movement against the Saudi-backed breakaway has gained momentum in recent weeks.
LIV Golf has already managed to lure away some of the PGA Tour’s biggest names, such as Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, with mega-money deals.
However, Woods and McIlroy have remained loyal to the PGA with the former reportedly rejecting an $800million offer to join the rebel series.
The project, along with their united stance against the rebel series, is said to have brought them closer together.
Woods and McIlroy arranged an informal meeting of players to discuss countering LIV Golf during last month’s J.P. McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor in Ireland before the follow-up meeting this week.
Woods took off from Stuart, Florida Tuesday lunchtime with Rickie Fowler and two hours later had landed on the east coast, just a half an hour drive from Wilmington, Delaware, where the BMW Championship was played this week.
The meeting lasted 3.5 hours and was described as ‘good’ by one player, as reported by ESPN.
The idea was pitched to their peers as a long-term opportunity for players to build equity in the enterprise, which will have private funding in addition to corporate partnerships and sponsors.
The proposal was said to be received well by the 22 stars who attended the meeting and the plan, along with other suggestions discussed, have been passed onto Monahan.
The PGA Tour chief is believed to already be on board with the new events with the details on the format, potential participants, the experiential elements and the planned location of the events thought to be announced by Monahan at East Lake.
Monahan is scheduled to hold a press conference on Tuesday ahead of the Tour Championship but a PGA Tour spokesperson declined to comment on what he may discuss, according to Golfweek.
Following, Tuesday’s meeting McIlroy hailed Woods as the ‘alpha’ of the group, revealing the 46-year-old made himself heard with a hands-on approach to finding ‘actionable steps’ to secure the Tour’s future.
‘We’re all great players but we’re not Tiger Woods,’ the Northern Irishman said on Wednesday. ‘He is the hero that we’ve all looked up to and his voice carries further than anyone else’s in the game of golf. His role is navigating us to a place where we all think we should be.
‘I think it’s pretty apparent that whenever we all get in the room there’s an alpha in there and it’s not me. He cares a lot.’
McIlroy and his colleagues have kept tight-lipped about what was agreed in the meeting but it is understood the Tour’s top players agreed on trying to find ways to face each other more often – while avoiding LIV Golf rivals outside of majors.
Xander Schauffele, ranked sixth in the world, said there was ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ ideas raised at the meeting.
And Woods was at the center of the bid for unity among those who have not defected to LIV Golf.
Of Woods’ contribution, McIlroy added: ‘It shows how much he cares about the tour, it shows how much he cares about the players that are coming through and are going to be the next generation.
‘He’s carried the tour for a long, long time. Players that were his contemporaries, we’ve all benefited from that.’