Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will have to wait until 2025 to launch their tech-infused TGL competition because of damage to the Florida arena that was going to take too long to repair and create scheduling problems for television and players.
The six-team league was supposed to debut on January 9 and finish the season before the Masters in April. Ownership of the six teams had been announced and players were filling rosters. And then the league suddenly had no place to play because of a power failure last week.
The November 14 failure of a temporary power system and backup systems used for construction of the SoFi Center in Palm Beach Gardens caused the dome to deflate, which damaged the air-supported dome section of the arena.
"Although the events of last week will force us to make adjustments to our timelines, I'm fully confident that this concept will be brought to life by our great committed players," Woods said.
The concept co-founded by Woods and McIlroy is team match play in a 250,000-square-foot arena at Palm Beach State College. The longer shots are hit into a screen 20 times larger than a standard simulator, and actual shots from 50 yards or closer are played to a high-tech green complex that rotates on a turntable to create different shots.
Full shots are played off real grass or sand, depending on the shot, with the 15-hole matches expected to take two hours.
Instead of racing to make repairs to start the league next year and likely play a partial schedule, key partners, commercial sponsors, the 23 players and six ownership groups felt it best to postpone the debut by one year and get it right.
Woods is part-owner and player for Jupiter Links. McIlroy is on Boston Commons with Australia's Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley and Tyrrell Hatton. Other teams with their high-powered ownership groups are in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlanta.
"The postponement brings mixed feelings of disappointment and excitement," McIlroy said.
"Above all, we are happy that no one was injured. Given the circumstances, while the delay is disappointing, the postponement will allow us to regroup, refocus and return stronger."
The All-Star line-up for the tournament, announced in August 2022 to give the sport a three-month team league that caters to a new audience without trying to be traditional golf, also includes Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Max Homa.
TGL did not provide a timeline for the repairs or indicate if it would rebuild the same structure or enhance the original design and its technology. The arena is to hold up to 1600 spectators and the course is roughly the size of a football field.
Australian Associated Press
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