Tiger Woods to join PGA Tour player meeting on LIV Golf
The future of the PGA Tour is on the agenda of a players-only meeting on Tuesday in Wilmington, Del. — and Tiger Woods is reportedly flying in to make his own voice heard.
According to multiple reports from both Alan Shipnuck of the Firepit Collective and ESPN, Woods is expected to fly in to join a group consisting of many of the top-20 players in the world on Tuesday morning ahead of the BMW Championship. The group is reportedly meeting with the hope of charting a path forward from the developments of the last several months in professional golf. “Everything is on the table” in the meeting, according to Shipnuck, including major championship boycotts and the job security of current PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.
The meeting comes after months of advances from LIV Golf, which has used unprecedented amounts of Saudi funding to form its own rival golf league and pluck away a group including half of the Tour’s most popular players, per its own Player Impact Program. With a reported $2 billion investment, LIV has weaponized the Tour establishment against itself, courting players with guaranteed payouts and record-breaking tournament purposes. In just a few months, LIV’s cash infusion has presented the first serious threat to a major American professional sports league in decades.
It’s not yet clear how many players will be in the meeting, nor how long the meeting will last, but Woods’ expected attendance underscores the seriousness of the moment facing the PGA Tour, and the importance of unity among many of the Tour’s remaining holdouts.
To date, many of the PGA Tour’s most loyal defendants have been united by little more than their admission that Tour policies could stand to improve. In response to LIV, the Tour is rejiggering its payout structure to maximize earnings in its biggest events and reportedly considering its own no-cut, limited-field fall series. But those changes would not come until 2024, at the earliest, and it is unclear the level of player involvement in their crafting.
One area in which Tour supporters have been unified is in their criticism of LIV Golf. At the Open Championship in July, Woods offered his most striking defense of the Tour format, eviscerating the new league and its defectors for ‘turning their backs’ on the Tour establishment in a lengthy statement.
In a stroke of irony, the player meeting comes as the Tour enters its own most lucrative period, handing out some $75 million in prize money over the three-week stretch encompassing the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Many of the PGA Tour’s most essential bloc — a group of next-generation stars including Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm — stand to see their annual earnings double in the next three weeks.
Original article by James Colgan on Golf.com