Canelo will play golf with other athletes in the Icons Series

JERSEY CITY, NJ (AP) — Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, Michael Phelps and Ben Roethlisberger are among the names in golf's latest experiment.For those who a

JERSEY CITY, NJ (AP) — Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, Michael Phelps and Ben Roethlisberger are among the names in golf’s latest experiment.

For those who are tired of the dispute between the PGA and the LIV Golf series, tour financed by Saudi Arabia, Tom Brookes has something that could be interesting.

The Icons Series CEO will bring a two-day tournament to the Liberty National course featuring 24 professional athletes from all disciplines for a Ryder Cup-style competition.

It will kick off Thursday with two-time major winner Fred Couples leading the American team against four-time major champion Ernie Els and the rest of the world.

Players include Football Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk and Michael Strahan, recently retired Steelers quarterback Roethlisberger, Olympic champion swimmer Phelps, Immortals baseball player John Smoltz, boxer Mexican Álvarez, Tottenham striker Harry Cane, recently retired tennis player Ash Barty and retired cricketer Yuvraj Singh.

“I think golf is so relevant right now and even more so after the pandemic that it needs an injection of innovation and fresh air,” Brookes acknowledged on Wednesday. “There is a huge divide and fracture in golf right now. We want to do the opposite. We want to bring the icons of all together, bring people together, get together and enjoy an entertaining product like golf.”

This will be the third edition of the Icons Series. The first was in Dubai in 2015 and the second in England in 2017. There was an event planned in Japan for 2019, but it was canceled due to the tsunami and earthquake. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the event from taking place in 2021, and Brookes said it was a last-minute decision to do it this year.

Although he indicated that Icons signed deals for the next two years with Liberty National, which hosted the 2017 Presidents Cup and the first PGA Tour postseason event four times.

“I think we’ve stayed away from celebrities and focused on athletes who are super-competitive in their DNA and tried to humanize them with different sports,” Brooks said.