Tiger Woods is sharing his hot takes of the battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf series ahead of the sport’s British Open tournament. Here’s what Tiger Woods has to say about LIV Golf and the players that are collecting record money to join the new league.
What Happened: Woods said players that left the PGA Tour have “turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.”
In his comments, Woods took on LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman for doing something that is not “in the best interest of our game.”
“I know Greg tried to do this back in the early ‘90s. It didn’t work then, and he’s trying to make it work now,” Wood said during a news conference, as reported by the New York Times.
Woods also backed Norman being left out of the British Open events.
“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.”
The LIV Golf model of three days of 18 holes was also put into question by Woods.
“I can understand 54 holes is almost a mandate when you get to the Senior Tour — the guys are a little bit older and a little more banged up — but when you’re at this young age and some of these kids — they really are kids who have gone from amateur golf into that organization — 72 hole tests are a part of it.”
Woods didn’t single out any specific players who have left the PGA Tour but said things might get worse for them in the long run.
“I just don’t see how that move is positive in the long term for a lot of these players, especially if the LIV organization doesn’t get world-ranking points and the major championships change their criteria for entering their events.”
The comments come after it was reported earlier this year that Woods turned down a $1 billion offer to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Dustin Johnson was paid a reported $125 million to join the LIV, which Benzinga noted was more than Woods earned in on-course earnings from the PGA Tour.
Why It’s Important: LIV Golf has attracted some of the top names in golf with players including Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Sergio Garcia leaving the PGA Tour for the new golf league.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation into how the PGA Tour is handling its players and potential anticompetitive behavior in a battle with LIV Golf, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The inquiry centers on how the PGA Tour is handling its actions of the Official World Golf Ranking and warnings issued to defecting players.
“This was not unexpected. We went through this in 1994 and we are confident in a similar outcome,” the PGA Tour said Monday in a statement.
The investigation could look at if the PGA Tour conspired with the governing bodies of major golf tournaments to single out not awarding points to LIV golfers.
“When you try to bluff and intimidate players by bullying and threatening them you are guilty of going too far, being unfair, and you likely are in violation of federal law,” Norman previously said.
Players who have left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf have seen large paychecks but also lost out on endorsement money along the way.
Callaway Golf Co ELY pulled a lifetime endorsement deal with Mickelson even before he signed with LIV Golf. The deal ended based on comments Mickelson made about the PGA Tour being a dictatorship and not a democracy.
Other companies that have backed out of endorsement deals with golfers include Mastercard Inc MA, Rocket Companies Inc RKT and Workday Inc WDAY.
Nike Inc NKE, which has been a long-time sponsor of Woods, has maintained its endorsement deal with Koepka.
What’s Next: Woods is set to play in the British Open that begins Thursday, July 14 that will air across NBC, USA Network and the Peacock streaming platform, all units of Comcast Corporation CMCSA.
Woods said he will never play a full schedule again and isn’t sure how many tournaments he can compete in going forward.
“My body just won’t allow me to do that. I don’t know how many Open Championships I have left here at St. Andrews, but I wanted this one,” Woods said. “If I get the chance to play one more, it would be great, but there’s no guarantee.”
Woods is listed with odds of +6000 to win the British Open on sports betting platform Draftkings Inc DKNG. Rory McIlroy is listed as the favorite at +900.
Several players on the LIV Golf tour will compete in the event with odds of +3500 for Dustin Johnson, +5000 for Brooks Koepka and +11000 for Bryson DeChambeau among the British Open betting odds.
Photo: Debby Wong via Shutterstock
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