Tiger Woods Says He, Phil Mickelson Have 'Difference of Opinions' on PGA Tour

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 17, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 23:  Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson look on prior to The Match: Tiger vs Phil at Shadow Creek Golf Course on November 23, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images for The Match)
Harry How/Getty Images for The Match

Tiger Woods joined the list of voices who have distanced themselves from Phil Mickelson in the wake of Mickelson's previous comments about the PGA Tour. 

"Phil has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the Tour and committed to the legacy of the Tour have pushed back against," Woods told reporters Tuesday. "He's taking some personal time. And we all understand that. But I think that some of his views on how the Tour could be run, should be run, [there's] been a lot of disagreement there. ... We all wish him the best when he comes back. Obviously, we're going to have [a] difference of opinions [about] how he sees the Tour and we'll go from there."

CBS Sports HQ @CBSSportsHQ

"Phil has said some things that a lot of us who are committed to the tour have pushed back against."<br><br>Tiger Woods speaks on Phil Mickelson's absence ahead of the PGA Championship. <a href="https://t.co/zWt1MxIsss">pic.twitter.com/zWt1MxIsss</a>

The 15-time major winner added he hasn't spoken recently with Mickelson.

PGA of America confirmed last week that Mickelson had withdrawn from the PGA Championship, thus turning down the opportunity to defend his 2021 title. 

That prolonged his current exile from the PGA Tour. He hasn't appeared in a tour event since the Farmers Insurance Open in January.

The 51-year-old is still dealing with the fallout from an interview he gave to Alan Shipnuck that Shipnuck published in February for The Fire Pit Collective. 

Mickelson called the Saudi Arabia regime, which is backing a breakaway golf league, "scary motherf--kers" who "have a horrible record on human rights." However, he described the new Saudi tour as "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates."

Rory McIlroy described the remarks as "selfish" and "egotistical," and Justin Thomas struck a similar tone by saying Mickelson made an "egotistical statement."

Ahead of the PGA Championship, McIlroy explained that he doesn't want to see Mickelson frozen out altogether:

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

🗣️ "I certainly don't think he should be shut out of the game!" <br><br>Speaking ahead of the PGA Championship, Rory McIlroy discusses Phil Mickelson and the controversy surrounding the Saudi Golf League ⛳ <a href="https://t.co/zo4xhTuq3Q">pic.twitter.com/zo4xhTuq3Q</a>

Woods didn't speak about his one-time rival in quite the same terms as McIlroy and Thomas, but he seemed to make his opinion on the matter pretty clear.