The $3 billion merger is a gift that keeps on giving. The “framework agreement,” as Jay Monahan put it, was meant to disperse all controversies. Instead, the bad blood between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf sprouted new heads.
For a long time, there has been considerable conflict between players on both sides. Friendships such as Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy’s experienced a riff. Friends turned to rivals and everyone chose sides. Some of the PGA Tour Players stuck with the association despite humongous signing bonuses from the Saudi-backed circuit. But the hypocritical merger seems to have enraged them.
What is the meaning of Tiger Woods’ recent statement?
Of late, several active and retired golfers have come forth to stand against the merger or question the decision in their own way. Tiger Woods remained silent throughout the course of these controversial statements from the PGA Tour and the Stakeholders. However, when a document dated 2022, supposed to be part of a ‘players-only’ meeting, cited him as one of the speakers, The Tiger broke his silence.
“In response to the talking points memo released this weekend, I have never seen this document until today, and I did not attend the players meeting for which it was prepared at the 2022 Travelers,” the golf icon shared on his Twitter.
Tiger Woods has strived to do the right thing by the PGA tour ever since he received his card. However, the lack of communication between The Tour and the legendary golfer seems to be piling on. The memo is yet another piece of document that is not in direct correlation with the $3 billion merger. Nevertheless, in light of recent events, he couldn’t help but feel wronged in more ways than one.
There are speculations from fans about what his statement after a month of silence indicates. Some fans believe it is Woods’ way of saying he cannot have the Tour’s back anymore.
In response to the talking points memo released this weekend, I have never seen this document until today, and I did not attend the players meeting for which it was prepared at the 2022 Travelers.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) July 2, 2023
It really may just be the case. After all his advocacy on behalf of the tour and his undying loyalty, releasing a memo of a speech that Tiger never delivered is shockingly underhanded. A statement in the memo read, “So when you ask – what can I do? I have two ideas: First, do what I did: tell the Saudis to go f— themselves. And mean it. Second, tell the world – over and over, any chance you get – that you are sticking with the Tour because you are part of something bigger than yourself. That you are the PGA Tour and the PGA Tour is you. That it’s damn good, and it’s worth fighting for”
Had he delivered the speech, no doubt Tiger Woods would have taken that stance in favor of the American tour at the time. But now, with everything that’s going on, it seems this was a ploy to use his credibility against LIV Golf. Then they go behind his back and make a deal with the same entity that players have been penalized for participating in.
The Hall of Fame inductee may have lost some respect for the association and those who lead the charge for misappropriating his affiliation long before the merger were a subject of discussion.
Woods may be feeling betrayed by the PGA Tour all over again
Given that the American pro golfer turned down a massive offer from the Saudi PIF that is roughly estimated between 700-800 million dollars, the merger came as a real shock to him. Not to mention, he may be feeling slightly betrayed by The Tour as a stakeholder, father of a possible future golfer (Charlie Woods), and the face of the PGA Tour.
Tiger Woods is synonymous with the American golfing association and everything it offers. He has remained loyal to them. Therefore, not being part of such a monumental decision hit him hard. His Twitter statement seems to be hinting at underlying hostility towards the Tour. After all, the Tiger has dedicated years of his life to demonstrating his alliance with them. Sadly, it seems they did not extend him the same courtesy, at least not in terms of keeping him in the loop with honest conversations.