'They're turning their backs on what got them there...' Tiger Woods slams golfers joining dissident Saudi-backed league

‘They’re turning their backs on what got them there…’ Tiger Woods slams golfers joining dissident Saudi-backed league


Tiger Woods was delighted, Tuesday, July 12, to participate, from Thursday, in the British Open golf on the historic course of Saint Andrews. He also took the opportunity to sharply criticize the players who joined the dissident circuit LIV, the lucrative League carried by Saudi Arabia and the former champion Greg Norman, to the detriment of “sacred paths“.

At the end of June, the US Open announced that it would allow the participation of players who joined the LIV, such as Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson or even Bryson DeChambeau.

What do you think of the players tempted to join the dissident circuit LIV?

Tiger wood: They have turned their backs on what got them where they are. Some players don’t even have any experience on the tour (PGA). They went directly from the amateur circuit to this organization without ever having the opportunity to feel what it is like to play on the circuit or in the big tournaments. And who knows what will happen to the world ranking points, what are the criteria to play the Majors? Some of these players may never be able to play a Major, never have the chance to play at Saint Andrews, to walk the fairways of Augusta. That, to me, is incomprehensible.

They are paid very expensive in advance to play some tournaments on 54 holes [en trois jours au lieu de 72 trous en quatre tours sur le circuit classique]. I can understand that the senior circuit is 54 holes, they are older and less physically strong. But when you’re young, and some of these players are kids coming from amateur golf, playing 72 holes is part of the difficulty of the game. I remind you that Majors had 36-hole playoffs [pour départager les joueurs à égalité après 72 trous] !

So I don’t see how this move (to LIV) can prove positive in the long run for many of these players, especially if LIV doesn’t get world ranking points and Majors don’t change their criteria. ‘admission. It would be sad to see some of these young players never set foot on these sacred courses.

After your car accident in February 2021 which almost cost you your right leg, did you think you could one day return to Saint Andrews to play The Open?

Most of the time during my rehabilitation, I just hoped I could walk again. Walk normally and have a normal life, even play a little golf with my son or friends.

But finally, I was able to play a little in competition this year. And when I realized that I could play at a high level, although it will never be a question of playing a full season again, my goal was to come back here to Saint Andrews to play this tournament which is the most historic of our sport.

How do you feel physically?

My body can definitely get better, but realistically not much better. He was very abused and at 46 you don’t recover as well as you did at 26. But I’m lucky that in our sport you can continue to play at 45 and beyond. 50 years old on links-type courses [parcours sablonneux, ouverts au vent, peu voire pas arborés] like in St. Andrews. It just takes a lot of skill to play well on these courses. And with fairways that are fast and firm as they are, it allows older players to roll the ball and have a chance.

But in terms of preparation, when I arrived on Saturday, I didn’t hit a single ball. I only did approaches, putts and walked (on the course). There was no tension. I just tried to find sensations. As I am staying at the golf hotel, I went out at 9:00 p.m., went to one of the greens and putted. Then, on Sunday, I played 18 holes. Monday, I played 9 and today (Tuesday), 9. And that will be all, Wednesday I rest.

Comments collected at a press conference.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.