Tiger Woods was left “disappointed” by the lack of player input in the PGA Tour’s talks with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) ahead of the announcement of a framework agreement, the 15-time major winner said on Tuesday.
The PGA Tour, Europe-based DP World Tour and PIF-backed LIV Golf agreed to merge and move into a larger commercial operation in June after a bitter legal battle that lasted more than a year.
The deal surprised the golf world and raised concerns in Washington about Saudi Arabia’s role in the deal and the risks of a foreign government entity taking control of the sport.
Critics have accused the PIF of being a vehicle for the country to improve its reputation, or “sport”, as it faces criticism over its human rights record.
The framework agreement is set to expire on December 31 and while Woods said there are “multiple options”, they still want a deal completed by the end of the year.
“My reaction was surprised, as I’m sure a lot of the players were,” said Woods, who is set to make his first PGA Tour start since undergoing ankle surgery in April at this week’s Hero World Challenge.
“So quickly, without any input or any information about it, it was just thrown out there. I was very surprised that the process was what it was. We were very disappointed with what happened and we took steps forward to ensure that we were not going to stay out of the process as we were. So part of that process was putting me on the board.”
Woods joined the PGA Tour’s political board as director of players in August. The 47-year-old, who has played a limited schedule since suffering serious leg injuries in a car accident in 2021, also said he will continue to play until he feels he can no longer challenge for titles. “My game is rusty. I haven’t played in a while,” he added.
“There will come a time when I can no longer win. When that time comes, I will be gone.”
Woods won the unofficial Hero World Challenge tournament in the Bahamas, which he hosts to benefit his foundation, five times between 2001 and 2011.
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