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Rory McIlroy: LIV Golf stuck ‘in no man’s land’ compared to start-up TGL

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods’ new technology-driven TGL launches in January next year; The league will see team events played over 15 holes; McIlroy believes it is the kind of innovation golf needs and contrasted it with the breakaway LIV Golf series

The four-time major winner was speaking at Fenway Park introducing the four-player team for Boston Common when he argued that LIV and its 54-hole, no-cut team play is compared to TGL’s plans.

McIlroy has been one of the most outspoken critics of the breakaway Saudi-backed series, which launched last year, but believes his and Woods’ high-tech competition is exactly what the sport needs to attract a new audience.

“We’re [trying] to be competitive and it’s a different type of golf but it’s not the traditional golf that you see week in, week out,” McIlroy said.

“I don’t want to sit here and talk about LIV, but you could make the argument that they haven’t innovated enough from what traditional golf is or they have innovated too much that they’re not traditional golf.

“They’re sort of cut in no man’s land where as [TGL] is so far removed from what we know golf to be.”

While TGL is a team-based golf league as well, it will be played over 15 holes and combines an oversized simulator with actual shots to a tech-infused green which can change contours depending on the shot.

The league, run by McIlroy and Woods’ technology-focused sports company TMRW, will launch in January next year at the newly constructed SoFi Center in Florida with five of the six four-man teams announced for New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta. All players will be mic’d up during the events to bring fans closer to the action.

The venue at Palm Beach State College will host each event and holds approximately 1,600 spectators. TGL will finish before The Masters in April, and McIlroy believes can leverage the increasing popularity of virtual golf compared to the traditional form of the sport.

“More shots were hit on those environments than there were on golf courses [last year],” McIlroy said. “So, as we’re trying to bring the game into the 21st century, it’s important that these ventures happen.

“As golf is such a traditional sport, trying to break that mould and trying to bring it into the 21st century is pretty important.”

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