Tiger Woods denounces Phil Mickelson’s comments, supports PGA Tour

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TULSA, Okla. – Sometime PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has a laugh as wide as the Grand Canyon after hearing about Tiger Woods’ pro-PGA Tour support.

When asked to share his feelings about Phil Mickelson being absent from the 104e PGA Championship at Southern Hills this week, Woods expressed disappointment that the defending champion would not participate, saying “We will miss him,” but he didn’t mince his words.

“Phil has said some things that I think many of us who are committed to the Tour and committed to the legacy of the Tour have pushed back, and he has taken some personal time, and we all understand that,” Woods said. . “Some of his views on how the Tour could be run, should be run, there was a lot of disagreement there. Obviously we will disagree, how he sees the Tour, and we’ll go from there.”

In February, Mickelson accused the Tour of “unpleasant greed” at the Saudi International, and later that month Alan Shipnuck, author of “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar,” released an excerpt on The Firepit. Collective website where Mickelson vandalized the PGA Tour, calling it “a dictatorship” and explaining his flirtation with his joining Saudi back LIV Golf.

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“They’re a scary mom (expletive) to get involved with,” he said. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a terrible human rights record. They execute people there because they are gay. Knowing all this, why should I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape the way the PGA Tour works. they have [the PGA Tour] have been able to get by with manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics because we, the players, had no recourse. as nice as a man [PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] comes across as unless you have influence, he won’t do the right thing. And the Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I’m not sure if I want it [the SGL] to succeed, but just the idea of ​​it allows us to get things done with the [PGA] Tour.”

At his press conference on Tuesday ahead of the PGA Championship, Woods was just beginning to make it clear that he is committed to the PGA Tour and to distance himself from the vision for world golf that Mickelson, Greg Norman and others are casting.

“I believe in legacies. I believe in big championships. I believe in big events, comparisons to historical figures of the past,” Woods said. “There’s a lot of money here. The Tour is growing. But it’s like any other sport. It’s like tennis. You have to get out there and earn it. You have to go for it and play for it. We have a chance to go on and it It’s just not guaranteed in advance.”

Woods confirmed he hasn’t spoken to Mickelson since Lefty announced his self-imposed leave of absence in an apologetic apology five days after Shipnuck’s release of Mickelson’s inflammatory comments rocked his world “to become a better man”.

When asked if he was surprised at how quickly it escalated, with Mickelson losing the majority of his sponsors and missing the players and now two straight majors, Woods agreed, blaming social media for their role in changing the landscape for news and opinions. Scattered.

“What we’re seeing in society now is very bipolar. There’s really no middle ground, you’re standing one way or another. It’s very polarizing,” he said. “And the views Phil has taken with the Tour and what the Tour has meant to all of us have also been polarizing.”

No one in the golf world understands what it’s like to deal with a public scandal and the embarrassment that comes with it better than Woods, but he gave little advice on how to deal with it. Woods said he respected different points of view and that Mickelson was welcome to have his own opinion about the future of the professional game and that he should follow his beliefs.

“I don’t know if he should fix it or not. You know, he has his opinion on where he sees the game of golf going. You know, I have my opinion on how I see the game of golf, and I’ve supported the Tour and my foundation has hosted events in the Tour for a number of years,” Woods said. “I just think what Jack and Arnold did starting the Tour and breaking with the PGA of America and creating our tour in” 68 or ’69, somewhere in there, I just think there’s a legacy to that.

“I’ve been playing here for a few years and decades, and I think there’s a legacy to it. I still think the Tour has so much to offer, so many opportunities.”

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