ESPN reported that during a news conference at the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews on Tuesday, woods held no punches in criticizing the pro golfers who have defected from PGA to LIV after receiving big signing bonuses and what it could mean for those players’ careers and the future of PGA golf.
In some cases, high-profile players such as former major champions Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka received guaranteed deals worth more than $100 million from the new circuit being fronted by two-time Open winner Greg Norman.
“I disagree with it,” Woods said. “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.”
And because the LIV Golf Invitational Series isn’t recognized by the Official World Golf Ranking, golfers who played for the circuit receive world points for its first two events in London and Portland, Oregon. This has Woods scratching his head wondering why LIV players would risk not being eligible to play in major championships.
“Who knows what’s going to happen in the near future with world-ranking points, the criteria for entering major championships,” Woods said. “The governing body is going to have to figure that out. Some of these players may not ever get a chance to play in major championships. That is 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 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.”
Woods also backed the R&A’s decision not to invite Norman to St. Andrews for the 150th Open celebration.
“The R&A obviously have their opinions and their rulings and their decision,” Woods said. “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. I believe it’s the right thing.”
So, obviously, LIV Golf has stirred up some drama and the golf world, and Woods is not holding any punches when airing out his concerns about the game’s future.