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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Tiger Woods takes strong stance against LIV golfers

Tiger Woods at a press conference

Sep 18, 2020; Mamaroneck, New York, USA; Tiger Woods talks to reporters following his second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Winged Foot Golf Club – West. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods spoke at length on Tuesday about LIV Golf and the players who have joined the Saudi-backed league, and the 15-time major champion made one thing very clear — he is not on the same page with many of his peers.

Woods criticized the LIV format and said giving golfers millions in guaranteed money takes away their incentive to work hard.

“What is the incentive to practice? What is the incentive to go out there and earn it in the dirt? You’re just getting paid a lot of money up front and playing a few events and playing 54 holes,” Woods told reporters during a press conference ahead of The Open Championship.

Tiger also said he feels players who signed deals with LIV Golf have “turned their backs” on the PGA Tour. He questioned why golfers would risk not being able to play in major tournaments as well.

“I disagree with it. I think what they’ve done is they’ve turned their backs on what has allowed them to get to this position,” Woods said. “Some players have never gotten a chance to even experience it. They’ve gone right from the amateur ranks into that organization and never really got a chance to play out here and (see) what it feels like to play a Tour schedule or play in some big events.

“Some of these players may never get a chance to play in major championships. That’s a possibility. We don’t know that for sure yet. It’s up to all the major championship bodies to make that determination. But it 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.”

As of now, LIV golfers are banned from the PGA Tour and European Tour. They can still play in majors, however, which are governed by their own bodies. The LIV Golf Series is not yet recognized as a part of the Official World Golf Ranking, so players cannot accrue the points that some of them may need to qualify for majors. If that does not change, golfers will likely be more hesitant to sign with LIV.

We have seen some other top golfers blast players who joined the LIV Series, but there is no opinion that holds more weight than Tiger’s. He could have remained neutral, but he obviously felt inclined to take a clear side.

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