ESPN to televise inaugural TGL virtual golf season

ESPN will televise the inaugural season of TGL presented by SoFi, the new golf league set to begin play in 2024, as part of a multi-year agreement announced Thursday morning.

The league, which is the brainchild of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy along with golf executive Mike McCarley, will feature 18 PGA Tour players split into six teams. They will play two-hour, head-to-head match-play matches in a specially built arena in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. It will incorporate live action as well as the latest in golf technology.

Woods and McIlroy have committed to play, along with Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose and Adam Scott. Six more players will be announced.

“TGL is going to be a two-hour presentation unlike anything you have seen before,” said ESPN executive vice president Rosalyn Durant. “All players will wear live microphones and viewers will have unprecedented access during competition. It’s an exciting landscape for presenting golf and we look forward to bringing it to fans.”

The first match will be Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 9 p.m. ET. It’s the night after the College Football Playoff title game. The second will be a week later at 7 p.m. ET on the night after a Monday Night Football Wild Card playoff game. Both will be on ESPN and ESPN+. All other 13 regular-season matches, on dates to be announced, will be on ESPN or ESPN2 as well as ESPN+. There will also be a semifinal and final match.

“ESPN has embraced the concept from our very first meeting and we’re looking forward to launching TGL in prime time on ESPN and bringing our teams of the PGA TOUR’s biggest stars to their ESPN’s legion of sports fans,” McCarley said in a statement. “The two-hour match format has been designed for today’s sports fan, as it’s rooted in the traditions of golf, but adds technical elements that are unique to a modern, sports arena environment.”

Four of the six teams have city and ownership designations — TGL Atlanta, TGL Boston, Los Angeles Golf Club and TGL New York. Team investors include Arthur Blank, John Henry and Tom Werner, Alexis Ohanian, Serena and Venus Williams, and Steve Cohen.

A preview show will air on Saturday, Dec. 30 on ABC.

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