Welcome to The Break, my recap and reaction feature available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Catch up on everything happening in the golf world each morning in an easy-to-consume format to get your day started.
In today's edition:
- TGL announces format, shot clock and referees
- PGA Tour allows members to play LIV Q-School
- Deal of the Day
- Shout Outs
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TGL announces format, shot clock and referees
TGL is currently engaged in a waterfall cycle of revealing details about the inaugural season of the Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy co-founded hybrid indoor-golf league. They've announced a full team -- the Boston Common with McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Tyrrell Hatton and Adam Scott -- and some other player commitments. They've also shared the league and match format.
It sounds pretty interesting. The matches will be a total of 15 holes. The first part will be nine holes and feature 3-on-3 alternate-shot, which is a nice way to get each player involved without having to hit a lot of shots. The second part will be six holes of 1-on-1 match play, in which each golfer on each team will play two holes against a common match-play opponent. The team that wins the most points -- and each hole is worth 1 point -- wins the match. If there's a tie, there's overtime.
There will be a 40-second shot clock, which makes sense since this is supposed to happen in under two hours and meant to be fun. And it's mostly done on a simulator. There will be a referee, and teams will have timeouts. And those things aren't hurting anybody, so go for it.
The success of TGL really hinges on the 24 golfer playing making this a fun experience. Sure, there's room for trash talk. But there should be some great stories told, lots of laughing and smiling, as well as a visual presentation that helps viewers either forget or embrace the hybrid brand of golf they're being asked to watch.
PGA Tour allows members to play LIV Q-School
As a known LIV detractor, I didn't want to avoid this story, lest I face criticism for not talking about this story. However, the PGA Tour has given members the green light to play in the LIV Golf promotions tournament -- effectively, LIV Golf Q-School. The event will be played Dec. 8-10 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, with an ironic 72-hole slate to determine three spots for the 2024 LIV Golf League.
Among those who are eligible to play are those in the top 200 of the Official World Golf Ranking, as well as winners on the PGA Tour in the last two years and on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour. It's unclear how many of these players will actually sign up for the event, but the PGA Tour is being consistent with its regulations. This is, after all, technically not a LIV Golf League event, and the PGA Tour has allowed members the opportunity to compete on the Asian Tour.
This seems like a measure of detente, perhaps in anticipation of an agreement between the PGA Tour, European Tour Group and the Saudi Public Investment Fund. After all, most players who went to LIV from the PGA Tour wound up resigning their membership, so those players aren't under PGA Tour sanction at the moment.
However, the problem might come if a player earns a LIV Golf League spot. Depending on how the negotiations work out between these parties, PGA Tour members who qualify for LIV Golf and take up the membership for the season may well get sanctioned and suspended.
You have no doubt noticed that all kinds of major retailers are promoting early Black Friday sales that are starting this week -- if they haven't started already. That tells you what they're expecting this holiday season, so we're getting started early, too, with our annual list of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
In addition to that list, you can follow our @gnngolfdeals account on X (or Twitter) with updates on the latest and greatest sales every day of the year.
A shout out to Steve Stricker, who has already won the PGA Tour Champions' season-long points race, the Charles Schwab Cup. In fact, he clinched the season-long race and its $1 million first-place annuity prize after the first of three playoffs events in Richmond.
Stricker absolutely dominated this Champions season, winning six times in 16 events. He won three of the five majors -- and he skipped the Senior Open -- in which he played. He won nearly $4 million. Crazy!