Thursday, 18 August
Tiger Woods was reportedly huddling with the PGA Tour’s top professionals on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing battle with the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV golf circuit.
Woods and fellow professional Rickie Fowler jetted into Philadelphia from Florida before meeting players on the sidelines of the BMW Championship in Delaware.
Multiple US reports said Woods and around 20 of the top players on the PGA Tour were set to discuss strategies aimed at tackling LIV, which has been steadily luring players away from the tour with lucrative multi-million-dollar contracts.
Golf has been in turmoil since the launch of LIV this year, with Australia’s newly minted Open champion Cameron Smith reported to be the next big name to join the upstart circuit.
Woods, who is reported to have turned down between $700-800 million to join LIV, has been one of the new circuit’s most trenchant critics.
At St. Andrews last month, Woods said he “disagreed” with players who had signed with the series.
“I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position,” Woods said, adding that younger players joining LIV may “never, ever get a chance to play in a major championship.”
“That, to me, I just don’t understand it,” he said.
The BMW Championship is the second leg of the PGA Tour’s lucrative season-ending FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Several players who would normally be expected to challenge in the playoffs – such as Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau – have joined LIV and been barred from playing.
Tuesday’s player meeting in Delaware comes after three LIV defectors lost a bid to force their way into the field for last week’s St Jude Championship in Memphis.
“I think it could have made things a little bit awkward, yeah,” Spanish star Jon Rahm told reporters on Tuesday.
“They chose to leave the PGA Tour, they chose to go join another tour knowing the consequences; and then try to come back and get, you know. It wouldn’t have, I would say, sit extremely well with me.”
Patrick Cantlay meanwhile joked about Woods’s role in Tuesday’s talks.
“Well, I’ve heard Tiger is the new commissioner, right?” Cantlay quipped before the meeting got under way.
“That’s what everyone has been saying. I’m going to go to the meeting. I’m going to listen to what it’s all about, and I’ll probably have more for you after.”
The Sport Report – Weekly
Get the Sport Report every Thursday to stay up to speed with everything you need to know in the world of sport.