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As LIV Golf has gotten underway, and more than a few PGA golfers have left to join the large paydays on the controversial tour, the war of words between the two sides has continued to escalate.
Both sides have made their thoughts known, with the PGA Tour suspending golfers who have defected from the PGA in order to play on LIV.
But when Tiger Woods speaksit carries a little more weight, and the three-time Open champion did not hold back when asked for his thoughts on the Saudi-backed tour and its CEO on Tuesday.
On Saturday, LIV Golf CEO and two-time British Open champion Greg Norman was asked not to attend the Open Championship festivities, including being informed that he has not been invited to the R&A Celebration of Champions field and the Champions’ Dinner. Norman responded by calling the R&A “petty,” but Woods backed the decision by the R&A on Tuesday.
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“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,” Woods said to reporters. “And I believe it was the right thing.”
“I know Greg tried to do this back in the early ’90s,’ ‘Woods added when asked to elaborate on Norman.” It didn’t work then, and he’s trying to make it work now. I still don’t see how that’s in the best interests of the game. What the European Tour and what the PGA Tour stand for and what they’ve done, and all the governing bodies of the game of golf and all the major championships, how they run it. I think they see it differently than what Greg sees it. ”
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Woods took it a step further when asked about the players who have chosen to join the LIV Tour, saying that they’ve “turned their back” on the tour that has helped them shape their careers.
“I disagree with it,” Woods said when asked about the LIV Tour and those who have joined. “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position. Some players have never got a chance to even experience it. They’ve gone right from the amateur ranks right into that organization. And never really had a chance to play out here and what it feels like to play a tour schedule or play in some big events. “
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“Some of these players may not ever get a chance to play in major championships,” Woods continued. “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 that’s 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. “
Woods, who is famous for his work ethic, went on to question the format of the LIV Tour, asking whether players will have a reason to practice considering the guaranteed money the LIV tour has reportedly paid out.
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“But what these players are doing for guaranteed money, what is the incentive to practice?” Woods asked reporters on Tuesday. “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.”
The LIV Tour format is different from the PGA Tour, playing a 54-hole, not cut, shotgun start style.
“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 the events,” Woods continued .
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“It’d be sad to see some of these young kids never get a chance to experience it and experience what we’ve got a chance to experience and walk these hallowed grounds and play in these championships.”
Woods will tee off on Thursday at the Open Championship after skipping the US Open in order to let his body prepare.