Tigers Woods isn’t happy with the growing number of golfers who have left the PGA Tour for a rival series supported by Saudi Arabia.
During a press conference on Tuesday before the start of the 2022 Open Championship, Woods said he “disagreed” with the golfers who have accepted suspensions to play with the LIV Golf Invitational Series, a rival to the PGA Tour.”I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position,” Woods, 46, said, according to ESPN.
In June, the PGA Tour suspended 17 golfers who appeared in LIV Golf’s first event in England. They included golfing legend Phil Mickelson, winner of 45 PGA Tour events, and Dustin Johnson, a former Masters winner who resigned from the tour ahead of the suspension.
ESPN previously reported that LIV Golf has ties to the Public Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund that makes investments on behalf of Saudi Arabia. The country has long been condemned for human rights abuses and LIV Golf has been criticized for working with Saudi Arabia.While speaking with reporters, Woods also took aim at former golfer Greg Norman, LIV Golf’s chief operating officer.
“I know Greg tried to do this back in the early ’90s,” Woods said of the 67-year-old’s past attempts to separate from the PGA Tour, according to the New York Times. “It didn’t work then, and he’s trying to make it work now. I still don’t see how that’s in the best interests of the game.”
As the Times noted, Norman was not invited to a dinner for past Open champions being held this week. Woods said he supported the decision.”Greg has done some things that I don’t think is in the best interest of our game, and we’re coming back to probably the most historic and traditional place in our sport,” he said. “I believe it’s the right thing.”With the 2022 Open Championship set to begin on Thursday, Woods — who suffered extensive injuries in a car crash in February 2021 — said he isn’t sure whether this year’s event will be his last.
“I don’t know how many Open Championships I have left here at St. Andrews, but I wanted this one,” Woods told reporters.”It started here for me in ’95, and if it ends here in ’22, it does. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” he added. “If I get the chance to play one more, it would be great, but there’s no guarantee.”