PGA Tour golfers praise Tiger Woods’ leadership amid LIV unrest, mum on details of meeting


The PGA Tour’s prime gamers aren’t able to reveal what was mentioned throughout a meeting with Tiger Woods on Tuesday night time, however many insist they’re on the identical web page in phrases of what the tour must do in its ongoing battle with LIV Golf.

Many of the highest 20 golfers on this planet and different influential gamers who’re nonetheless members of the PGA Tour met with Woods for greater than three hours at a lodge in Wilmington, Delaware, the location of this week’s BMW Championship, the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

“I think the one thing that came out of it, which I think was the purpose, is all the top players on this tour are in agreement and alignment of where we should go going forward, and that was awesome,” Rory McIlroy mentioned throughout a information convention Wednesday at Wilmington Country Club.

McIlroy mentioned any concepts or proposed adjustments mentioned by the gamers aren’t for a “public forum right now” and can keep between the gamers and PGA Tour executives.

Xander Schauffele, the sixth-ranked participant on this planet, described some of the concepts mentioned within the meeting as “new” and “fresh.”

When Schauffele was requested how he wish to see the battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf resolved, he mentioned: “Some sort of unity. [Golf is] definitely fractured currently. Yeah, we’re just in the middle of it. In a nice peaceful way would be a nice outcome.”

Having Woods, a 15-time main champion, within the meeting introduced credibility to the dialogue, the gamers mentioned.

“I think it’s pretty apparent that whenever we all get in the room, there’s an alpha in there, and it’s not me,” McIlroy mentioned.

Woods and his good buddy Rickie Fowler flew from Florida to Delaware to attend the meeting. About 20 to 25 gamers attended the meeting, together with Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Scottie Scheffler.

“It was a productive meeting,” Thomas mentioned. “It’s just something that the players who are involved just want the best for the tour and want what’s in the best interest. I think it’s just one of those things where we all want what’s best for the players, and we’re working to do that.”

Several previous main champions, together with Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed, have been lured to the Saudi Arabian-financed LIV Golf circuit with assured contracts price $100 million to $200 million.

Last week, the Telegraph of London reported that Open Championship winner Cameron Smith, the No. 2-ranked participant on this planet, is ready to defect to LIV Golf. Two different gamers who’ve been linked to the brand new league, Cameron Young and Joaquin Niemann, attended the players-only meeting on Tuesday night time, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Woods, 46, performed in solely the Masters, PGA Championship and The Open at St. Andrews this season, his first motion since he was significantly injured in a automobile wreck exterior Los Angeles in February 2021. Woods has insisted he’ll play in restricted occasions sooner or later as his profession winds down.

But Woods’ voice nonetheless carries lots of weight with gamers like McIlroy, Thomas and others, who idolized him as a participant rising up.

“I think it shows how much he cares about the players that are coming through and are going to be the next generation,” McIlroy mentioned. “Like it or not, they can’t really sell Tiger Woods anymore. The tour had an easy job for 20 years. They don’t have Tiger. They’ve got a bunch of us and we’re all great players, but we’re not Tiger Woods. We’re moving into a different era, and we just have to think about things a little differently.”

Added Thomas: “I think if someone like him is passionate about it, no offense to all of us, but that’s really all that matters. If he’s not behind something, then one, it’s probably not a good idea in terms of the betterment of the game, but two, it’s just not going to work. He needs to be behind something.”

McIlroy mentioned Woods’ position is to now ensure the PGA Tour is in good condition when his profession ends. According to LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, Woods turned down a suggestion between $700 million and $800 million to affix the upstart league.

“He is the hero that we’ve all looked up to,” McIlroy mentioned. “His voice carries further than anyone else’s in the game of golf. His role is navigating us to a place where we all think we should be.”

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