PGA Tour golfers praise Tiger Woods leadership amid LIV turmoil, mum on meeting details

The PGA Tour’s top players aren’t ready to reveal what was discussed during a meeting with Tiger Woods on Tuesday night, but many insist they are on the same page when it comes to what the tour should do in the ongoing battle with LIV Golf. .

Many of the top 20 golfers in the world and other influential players who are still members of the PGA Tour met Woods for more than three hours at a hotel in Wilmington, Delaware, the site of this week’s second BMW championship. stage of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

“I think the only thing that came out of it, which I think was the goal, is that all the top players on this tour are in agreement and aligned on where we need to move forward, and that was great,” said Rory McIlroy at a press conference Wednesday at Wilmington Country Club.

McIlroy said any ideas or proposed changes discussed by the players are not for a “public forum now” and will remain between the players and PGA Tour managers.

Xander Schauffele, the sixth player in the world, described some of the ideas discussed at the meeting as “new” and “fresh.”

When asked how he would like to see the battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf resolved, Schauffele said: “A kind of unity. [Golf is] definitely broken right now. Yeah, we’re just in the middle of it. In a nice quiet way would be a nice outcome.”

Having Woods, a 15-time major champion, in the meeting brought credibility to the discussion, the players said.

“I think it’s pretty obvious that when we all come into the room, there’s an alpha in it, and it’s not me,” McIlroy said.

Woods and his good friend Rickie Fowler flew from Florida to Delaware to attend the meeting. About 20 to 25 players attended the meeting, including Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Scottie Scheffler.

“It was a productive meeting,” Thomas said. “It’s just something that the players involved just want the best for the tour and want what’s in the best interest. I think it’s just one of those things where we all want the best for the players, and we’re working to That.”

Several great champions of the past, including Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed, have been lured to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf circuit with guaranteed contracts worth $100 million to $200 million.

Last week, the Telegraph of London reported that Open Championship winner Cameron Smith, the world’s No. 2, is about to switch to LIV Golf. Two other players linked to the new league, Cameron Young and Joaquin Niemann, attended the players-only meeting on Tuesday night, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Woods, 46, has only played in the Masters, PGA Championship and The Open in St Andrews this season, his first action since being seriously injured in a car accident outside Los Angeles in February 2021. Woods has insisted he will be in limited will play events in the future as his career ends.

But Woods’ voice still weighs heavily on players like McIlroy, Thomas and others, who idolized him as a growing player.

“I think it shows how much he cares about the players who are coming through and will be the next generation,” said McIlroy. “Like it or not, they can’t really sell Tiger Woods anymore. The tour had an easy track for 20 years. They don’t have a Tiger. They have a bunch of us and we’re all great players, but we’re no Tiger Woods. We’re going into a different era and we just need to think about things a little differently.”

Thomas added: “I think if someone like him is passionate about it we’re all not offended but that’s really all that matters. If he’s not behind something then it’s probably not a good idea in terms of the improvement of the game, but two, it’s just not going to work. He’s got to be behind something.”

McIlroy said Woods’ role now is to make sure the PGA Tour is in good shape when his career ends. According to Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, Woods turned down an offer between $700 million and $800 million to join the upstart league.

“He’s the hero we’ve all looked up to,” McIlroy said. “His voice goes beyond anyone else’s in golf. His role leads us to a place where we all think we should be.”

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.