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Reports: Saudi-backed tour taking shape with Greg Norman as commissioner

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The veil of silence that has shrouded a proposed start-up circuit to rival the PGA Tour will soon be lifted, according to reports from multiple media outlets on Wednesday.

Representatives behind the proposed Super Golf League met with a select group of media in New York City Wednesday, although many details of that meeting remain unknown.

The reports did confirm long-talked-about rumors that Greg Norman would serve as commissioner of the Saudi-backed circuit, but those in attendance were asked to not publish specific elements of the meeting until next week (Golf Channel was not among those invited to participate in the meeting).

The start-up league has gone through various iterations, including a stint as the Premier Golf League, and the basis includes a team concept, exceedingly rich purses and ownership options for those who have been described as team “captains.”

Report: 8 Tour players ask to play Saudi Int'l

An ongoing clash between the PGA Tour and an upstart circuit could reach a tipping point early next year.

The PGA Tour has largely remained quiet about the league, but early last year commissioner Jay Monahan did confirm that any player who commits to the new circuit would not be allowed to continue as a Tour member.

Norman appears to be a natural choice to front the new tour. In the early 1990s, the Australian was behind a push for a global circuit that was eventually shelved when the PGA Tour created the World Golf Championships.

Whether the plan is to announce the details of the new tour or simply focus on the Saudi International, which had been a European Tour event until this year, remains to be seen. The PGA Tour recently balked at granting players conflicting-event releases to play next year’s Saudi International, which is now sanctioned by the Asian Tour following a reported $100 million investment into that circuit by the Saudis. But given Wednesday’s media gathering, it seems likely that the SGL is poised to come out of the shadows.