- Red Sox owner Fenway Sports Group is buying the Boston team in a new golf league.
- TGL, developed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in partnership with the PGA Tour, will begin competition in January.
- The news comes as the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf hammer out a merger after a long, contentious legal fight.
Another sports powerhouse has joined the ownership ranks of the golf league being developed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
Fenway Sports Group, owned and run by John Henry and Tom Werner, will be the second of six teams to join TGL, the primetime golf league set to begin competition in January.
"We are excited for this new journey," Henry and Werner said in an announcement Monday. "Through this new, tech-focused version of the game, New England sports fans will soon have a team of world-class PGA Tour players to cheer for and redefine for this community what it means to play the game in the modern era."
Fenway Sports Group owns several major sports franchises, including Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox, the Liverpool Football Club and the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins. The FSG team is the second squad to be announced by TGL. On June 8, it announced that Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams and Venus Williams became owners in a Los Angeles team.
"The team at FSG is uniquely positioned to help build an expanding community for fans of golf and embracing that audience is foundational to the Boston's TGL team's mission," said Mike McCarley, co-founder of TMRW Sports, which controls TGL.
The development of TGL comes at a pivotal time for the big-money world of professional golf. Woods, McIlroy and McCarley founded TMRW Sports Group (pronounced "tomorrow") last year in partnership with the PGA Tour. At the time, it was seen as a response to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league, which was embroiled in a bitter legal fight with the PGA Tour.
This month, however, the PGA Tour and LIV agreed to merge business interests to form a new company. McIlroy is one of the biggest public critics of LIV, and Woods reportedly rejected a massive offer to join the Saudi-funded league.
TGL will now try to capture a new, younger demographic using cutting-edge technology in primetime competitions that merge physical and virtual golf.
The league will feature six teams, consisting of three PGA Tour players each, going head-to-head in match play in an arena in Palm Beach, Florida. The league has not yet announced a broadcast deal as it is in ongoing negotiations. That is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, according to a source close to the matter.
The star power of Woods and McIlroy has helped attract a handful of big names, including Justin Thomas, John Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler.
TGL hasn't disclosed how much money it's raised. Yet it has attracted many big name athletes as investors, including basketball greats Shaquille O'Neal, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant; Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton; women's soccer star Alex Morgan; and pro football's Tony Romo and Josh Allen. Several professional sports team owners have invested, as well.