Tiger Woods ripped the upstart LIV Golf series and its CEO, Greg Norman, during his pre-tournament press conference at the British Open on Tuesday in Scotland.
Norman was not invited to celebrations for the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews this week, a decision the 15-time major winner said he agreed with.
“Greg has done some things that I don’t think are in the best interests of our game and we’re coming back to probably the most historic and traditional place in our sport. I believe it was the right thing,” Woods said.
LIV Golf, a new tour backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund, has recruited a number of star players, including Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson. They have taken large quantities of money to join LIV and been suspended from the PGA Tour as a result.
“I disagree with it,” Woods said. “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position. Some players have never got a chance to even experience it. They’ve gone right from the amateur ranks to that organization.”
LIV Golf has guaranteed cash for players and has gone with a 54-hole format for events.
“What these players are doing for guaranteed money — What is the incentive to practice? What is the incentive to go out there and earn it in the dirt,” Woods said. “You’re just getting paid a lot of money up front, playing a few events, playing 54 holes, they’re playing blaring music and have all these atmospheres that are different.
“I can understand 54 holes is almost like a mandate when you get to the senior tour when a guy is older and a little more banged up. But when you’re at a young age, they really are kids going from amateur golf into that organization.”
The board of the Official World Golf Ranking is scheduled to meet at St. Andrews on Wednesday to discuss LIV’s bid to become part of the points system.
The OWGR helps determine who gets into majors.
“That is a possibility that some players will never ever get a chance to play a major championship, never get a chance to experience this right here, (or) walk out on the fairways of Augusta National,” Woods said. “To me, I just don’t understand it.”