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Report: Tiger Woods Meets with PGA Tour Golfers to 'Rally Support' Against LIV Golf

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 16, 2022

Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images

Tiger Woods reportedly met with several of the top golfers in the world on Tuesday amid a steady stream of players leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.

According to ESPN's Mark Schlabach, Woods and his fellow golfer and close friend, Rickie Fowler, flew to Wilmington, Delaware, which is where the BMW Championship is being held this week.

Schlabach noted that the three-and-a-half-hour meeting was held at an off-course hotel and included the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, among others.

An anonymous golfer who attended the meeting called it "good," and said it was "about all the top players getting on the same page." Schlabach added that it was meant to "rally support" for the PGA Tour.

Earlier Tuesday, Schlabach reported that the meeting would take place following a scheduled PGA Tour Player Advisory Council meeting. He added that it would involve many of the top 20 players in the world and "other influential PGA Tour members" who have remained loyal to the PGA Tour and refrained from jumping to LIV Golf.

An anonymous golfer who was invited to the meeting said, "It's a meeting to get the top 20 players in the world on the same page on how we can continue to make the PGA Tour the best product in professional golf."

When LIV Golf held its first event in June, the field included a few notable names, including major champions such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen.

Since then, the promise of huge signing bonuses, massive tournament purses and fewer tournaments than the PGA Tour has led to even more high-profile golfers joining the upstart league.

Among them are Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson, and they have been joined by several mid-tier players as well.

Golfers who have made the leap have faced criticism since LIV Golf is financially backed by Saudi Arabia, and the country has been accused of "sportswashing," which is the act of using sports to mask or minimize greater issues, such as human rights violations.

The PGA Tour has taken a hardline stance against players who have defected, banning them from PGA Tour events, although those with the proper qualifications have been permitted to play in major tournaments.

A handful of top PGA Tour players have been outspoken against those who have left for LIV Golf, with Rory McIlroy and Woods being chief among them.

Per Schlabach, Tiger had some strong words for LIV Golf members last month, saying: "I disagree with it. I think that what they've done is they've turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position."

The 46-year-old Woods, arguably the greatest golfer of all time with 15 major victories and 82 PGA Tour wins to his credit, had the opportunity to leave for LIV Golf but turned it down.

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said earlier this month that LIV Golf offered Woods a whopping $700 million to $800 million to join, only for Tiger to remain loyal to the PGA Tour.

Injuries have taken a toll on Woods and knocked him from the ranks of the top players in the world while limiting him to only playing in majors.

It is unlikely that he will ever earn close to $700 million to $800 million for the remainder of his PGA Tour career without factoring in endorsements, but Woods still decided to stand by the tour he has called home since 1996.

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