There’s been a lot of chatter recently about PGA players wanting to leave the tour and play on the LIV Golf series, which is backed by the Saudi government. Some players think it’s a good idea and others do not.
Two golfers who appear to be on opposite sides of that discussion are Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. Mickelson and players like Sergio Garcia want to abandon the PGA Tour and play in the Saudi tournaments. Woods is very committed to the PGA and its legacy.
Tiger Woods said a lot during his 30-min #PGAChampionship press conference Tuesday. Most notably, his first comments on Phil Mickelson. @GenoESPN and I react to everything he said. pic.twitter.com/xaMc0cokvy
— Matt Barrie (@MattBarrie) May 17, 2022
Mickelson hasn’t made an appearance this season on the PGA Tour and won’t be defending his PGA Championship this year after making some nasty remarks about the tour. Mickelson basically admitted he was trying to pit one tour against the other for monetary gain, which did not sit well with many people. He also tried to downplay the many human rights violations the Saudi government has been involved with.
Appearing at a PGA Championship press conference on Tuesday, Tiger talked about Phil missing this major.
“It’s always disappointing when the defending champion is not here,” Woods said. “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. And he’s taken some personal time, and we all understand that.”
Tiger Woods also came to the defense of the PGA Tour and all it has done over the years.
💬 "I understand different viewpoints, but I believe in legacies, I believe in major championships…"
Tiger Woods has spoken about the comments made by Phil Mickelson, but thinks he will still be missed in the upcoming US PGA Championship. #BBCGolf
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 17, 2022
“I understand different viewpoints, but I believe in legacies. I believe in major championships. I believe in big events, comparisons to historical figures of the past. There’s plenty of money out here. The Tour is growing. You have to go out there and earn it. You’ve got to go out there and play for it. We have the opportunity to go ahead and do it. It’s just not guaranteed upfront,” said Woods.
Mickelson and Woods are the tour’s biggest stars and, recently, the PGA has taken measures to ensure that it remains that way.
Mickelson hasn’t announced his comeback or if he will be making a return to the PGA Tour.
Tiger Woods said Tuesday he has not reached out to Phil Mickelson.
"I don't know what he's going through, but I know the comments he made about the Tour and the way it should be run… I just have a very different opinion on that. And so no, I have not reached out to him." pic.twitter.com/2Ebj9k6fLY
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) May 17, 2022