Tiger Woods knocks golfers joining Saudi-backed tour: ‘I disagree with it’
Golf legend Tiger Woods shared his criticism about fellow golfers leaving the PGA Tour for the newly created LIV Golf tour, saying that he disagrees with the player movement.
“I disagree with it,” Woods said at a British Open news conference on Monday, according to ESPN. “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.”
Woods, who is set to participate in his third golf tournament after sustaining a serious leg injury in a single-vehicle accident in February 2021, added that the future is uncertain with regard major championships for players who left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.
“Some of these players may not ever get a chance to play in major championships. That is a possibility. We don’t know that for sure yet. It’s up to all the major championship bodies to make that determination,” the 46-year-old golfer said at the news conference.
“But that is a possibility, that some players will never, ever get a chance to play in a major championship, never get a chance to experience this right here, walk down the fairways at Augusta National. That, to me, I just don’t understand it,” he added.
The PGA Tour on Monday acknowledged that the Department of Justice had launched an investigation into the organization over allegations of anti-competitive behavior after high-profile golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson left the tour to join the new golf league.
According to the PGA Tour’s bylaws, golfers aren’t allowed to participate in other leagues unless they get permission from the tour’s commissioner. Some golfers initially signed release forms to participate in LIV Golf’s inaugural tournament, but their requests were denied by the PGA Tour.
The PGA Tour has fined or banned golfers who have joined LIV Golf, which has also come under scrutiny for Saudi Arabia’s controversial record of human rights abuses.
Woods also said that he doesn’t believe the new startup golf tournament will last long, noting the history the PGA Tour and the European Tour have established over the decades, ESPN noted.
“I know what the PGA Tour stands for and what we have done and what the tour has given us, the ability to chase after our careers and to earn what we get and the trophies we have been able to play for and the history that has been a part of this game,” Woods said.