Tiger Woods goes to town on LIV Golf defectors at Open press conference
"Greg has done some things that I don't think are in the best interests of our game."
Tiger Woods is back at 'The Home of Golf' and he is already teeing off and hitting targets, away from the 'Old Course'.
The 15-time major winner is at St Andrew's, where he twice won the Claret Jug, for another crack at The Open Championship. Woods was over in Adare for the JP McManus Pro-Am, last week, and he also hit Ballybunion with Rory McIlroy for more links golf practice.
The American, who is played a reduced schedule after the car accident, last year, that almost cost him his leg, was asked about the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series during a pre-tournament preview.
"I don’t know how many Open Championships I have left at St. Andrews," Woods confessed, "but I wanted this one."
Having already turned down a reported seven figure sum to pledge his allegiance to LIV Golf, Woods was known to be firmly in the corner of the long-standing PGA Tour. Asked about LIV by reporters at St Andrew's, he gave his unequivocal answer.
"I disagree with it," he said of players that had jumped ship to LIV Golf.
"I think they have turned their backs on what has allowed them to get in this position. Some players have never got a chance to even experience it... never really got a chance to play out here, and what it feels like to play on a tour schedule or play in some big events."
"What are these players now 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 also raised the possibility that players that have stepped away from the PGA and DP World Tours, in favour of LIV, could now miss out on playing at future Open Championships and the US Masters, because they will not earn world ranking points with LIV [at least not for the next two years].
"Some may never get the chance to walk the fairways at Augusta National," said Woods. "I don’t understand it."
Tiger Woods on Greg Norman
The Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St Andrew's did not extend an invite to former Open champion Greg Norman to the event, this year. The R&A stated that Norman, who is CEO of LIV Golf, could be a distractive presence at St Andrew's during the event.
Asked about the Australian not being invited, Tiger Woods had no issues with it. He commented:
"Greg has done some things that I don't think is in the best interest of our game, and we're coming back to probably the most historic and traditional place in our sport. I believe it's the right thing."
Aside from Norman and LIV, the 46-year-old discussed how his body is shaping up ahead of a hopeful four-day stint around The Old Course.
🗣️ "At 46 you don't quite heal as well as you do at 26"
Tiger Woods discusses how his body is feeling ahead of The Open Championship. pic.twitter.com/OYDPsl3nou
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) July 12, 2022
Rory McIlroy on Tiger Woods and a possible 16th major
Also in Scotland, chasing another Open win, is Rory McIlroy. He was asked, at his press appearance, if Tiger Woods could make it a sweet 16 for majors, this Sunday.
"The way the golf course is and the way the conditions are, I could certainly see it," said McIlroy. "It's going to be a game of chess this week, and no one's been better at playing that sort of chess game on a golf course than Tiger over the last 20 years."
"I've always loved coming to Ireland."
Ahead of the 150th Open Championship, Tiger Woods spoke about why he loves playing golf in Ireland and his favourite courses to play.