August 9, 2022

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R&A boss: LIV ‘harming the notion’ of golf

9:01 AM ET ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Tiger Woods blasted LIV Golf throughout a information...

9:01 AM ET

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Tiger Woods blasted LIV Golf throughout a information convention on the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews on Tuesday, providing his sharpest criticism up to now of PGA Tour gamers who had been lured to the Saudi Arabian-financed circuit by profitable signing bonuses.

In some circumstances, high-profile gamers similar to former main champions Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka acquired assured offers value greater than $100 million from the brand new circuit being fronted by two-time Open winner Greg Norman.

“I disagree with it,” Woods mentioned. “I believe that what they’ve completed is that they’ve turned their again on what has allowed them to get to this place.”

Woods, a 15-time main champion, additionally puzzled how gamers might jeopardize their alternatives to play in main championships. The LIV Golf Invitational Sequence isn’t but acknowledged by the Official World Golf Rating, so its gamers didn’t obtain world factors for its first two occasions in London and Portland, Oregon.

“Who is aware of what is going on to occur within the close to future with world-ranking factors, the standards for getting into main championships,” Woods mentioned. “The governing physique goes to must determine that out.

“A few of these gamers might not ever get an opportunity to play in main championships. That may be a risk. We do not know that for positive but. It is as much as all the key championship our bodies to make that dedication. However that may be a risk, that some gamers won’t ever, ever get an opportunity to play in a serious championship, by no means get an opportunity to expertise this proper right here, stroll down the fairways at Augusta Nationwide. That, to me, I simply do not perceive it.”

Woods, whose three Open Championship wins embrace victories on the Outdated Course in 2000 and 2005, mentioned he supported the R&A’s decision not to invite Norman to St. Andrews for the celebration of the 150th Open. In a press release, the R&A mentioned it wished to keep away from distractions in the course of the celebration week.

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“The R&A clearly have their opinions and their rulings and their resolution,” Woods mentioned. “Greg has completed some issues that I do not assume is in the very best curiosity of our recreation, and we’re coming again to in all probability probably the most historic and conventional place in our sport. I consider it is the fitting factor.”

On Monday, the PGA Tour acknowledged that america Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the tour’s dealing with of gamers who threatened to depart for LIV Golf and whether or not the tour’s necessities for members to have conflicting-event releases to play in different occasions constituted anticompetitive conduct.

Two participant brokers confirmed to ESPN that that they had been contacted by the DOJ about their shoppers’ willingness to be interviewed by attorneys for the federal authorities. It is simply the most recent growth in a rift that has engulfed the game this season.

“I do know what the PGA Tour stands for and what we’ve got completed and what the tour has given us, the power to chase after our careers and to earn what we get and the trophies we’ve got been capable of play for and the historical past that has been part of this recreation,” Woods mentioned.

“I do know Greg tried to do that again within the early ’90s. It did not work then, and he’s attempting to make it work now. I nonetheless do not see how that is in the very best pursuits of the sport. What the European Tour and what the PGA Tour stands for and what they’ve completed, and likewise all governing our bodies of the sport of golf and all the key championships, how they run it. I believe they see it otherwise than what Greg sees it.”

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Woods, who shall be taking part in in solely his third official match since he was significantly injured in a car wreck exterior Los Angeles in February 2021, performed 9 extra follow holes Tuesday morning. He has now walked 58 holes since arriving in St. Andrews on Saturday.

Though the Outdated Course is not as hilly as Augusta Nationwide, the place he made his return to aggressive golf on the Masters in April, or Southern Hills, the location of the PGA Championship in Could, Woods mentioned it was nonetheless a tough stroll for him on his surgically repaired proper leg.

“It is nonetheless not simple,” Woods mentioned. “Granted the inclines usually are not steep in any means. They don’t seem to be — the declines usually are not steep. However it’s the unevenness that’s nonetheless tough on me. I’ve lots of {hardware} in my leg. So it’s what it’s. It is going to be tough.”

Woods mentioned he plans to follow Wednesday however will not stroll any extra holes. He tees off in Thursday’s first spherical at 9:59 a.m. ET with U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and Max Homa. They begin the second spherical at 4:58 a.m. ET on Friday. The fast turnaround will not be simple on Woods’ physique, both.

“Sure, the stroll is definitely lots simpler than these two championships that I performed in earlier than this 12 months,” Woods mentioned. “I will stroll much more holes. Additionally, then once more, I’ve gotten lots stronger since then. I spend extra time now that I’ve gotten an opportunity to work within the weight room and get stronger and get the endurance higher in my leg.”

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At the least one different participant within the discipline, 2014 Open winner Rory McIlroy, believes Woods could be within the hunt for an additional Claret Jug, particularly if the wind retains howling off the North Sea. McIlroy performed 4 holes with Woods in Monday’s Celebration of Champions and mentioned he was “transferring higher than I’ve seen him transfer shortly.”

“I believe the way in which the golf course is and the way in which the circumstances are, I might definitely see it,” McIlroy mentioned. “It is going to be a recreation of chess this week, and nobody’s been higher at taking part in that type of chess recreation on a golf course than Tiger over the past 20 years.”

Lower than 17 months after his car accident, after which Woods mentioned surgeons nearly determined to amputate his proper leg, he’s merely blissful to be taking part in golf once more.

“For probably the most a part of my rehab I used to be simply hoping that I might stroll once more, you realize, stroll regular and have a traditional life and perhaps play somewhat hit-and-giggle golf with my son or my mates at house,” Woods mentioned. “However lo and behold, I’ve performed championship golf this 12 months. And as soon as I noticed that I might probably play at a excessive stage, my focus was to get again right here at St. Andrews to play on this championship being, as I mentioned, it is probably the most historic one we have ever had.

“I simply did not need to miss this Open right here on the house of golf.”