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Familiar name tapped to own New York’s franchise for Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy league

September 07, 2023
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Jim McIsaac

Whatever growing pains the new Tiger Woods/Rory McIlroy conceived TGL indoor golf league has during its startup phase, they won’t come from lack of resources.

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has made a deal to buy the New York franchise, joining Serena Williams and Alex Ohanian (Los Angeles), Fenway Sports Group (Boston) and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank (Atlanta) as what are essentially start-up investors in the league—which also counts the PGA Tour as a minority partner.

Even among financial heavyweights like FSG’s John Henry and Blank, Cohen is a whale. The hedge fund legend has accumulated nearly $20 billion, lapping Henry ($4 billion) and Blank ($8 billion) and dwarfing the collective efforts of two of the most financially successful professional athletes of all time in Woods and Williams ($1.1 billion and $300 million, respectively). Cohen spent $2.4 billion to buy the Mets in 2021 and also owns a personal art collection reportedly worth more than $1 billion.

Beyond unlimited resources, the TGL owner groups bring vast sports business and marketing experience to the table for the tech-focused league, which will start in January. Rosters of some of golf’s most prominent stars will play in television- and streaming-friendly matches in front of arena-style crowds on simulators that can replicate anything from a traditional golf hole to a super-tech landscape with vapor trails and bushels of swing and shot telemetry.

The league will be staged at an arena on the campus of Palm Beach (Fla.) State College. Aside from Woods and McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Rickie Fowler, and Billy Horschel have all committed to compete.