Tiger Woods is all about majors and legacies, Phil Mickelson’s sharp rebuke and his support for the Saudi-funded golf initiative prevented him from defending his left at the PGA Championship.
Although Woods made a remarkable comeback from a car accident 15 months ago, which resulted in the amputation of his right leg, speculation about the absence of PGA Championship Mickelson and who could sign up for Greg Norman’s new Saudi-backed golf series cannot be avoided.
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Woods said he has not tried to reach out to Mickelson since the self-imposed break from golf three months ago, largely because of differences of opinion on how golf should be run.
“I understand different perspectives, but I believe in inheritance. I believe in big championships. I believe in big events, compared to historical figures of the past, “said Woods.
“There’s a lot of money here,” he said. “Travel is on the rise. But it’s like any other sport – it’s like tennis – you have to go there and earn it. You have to go there and play for it. We have the opportunity to go ahead and do it. It’s not guaranteed right up front. “
It was a reference to some public investment funds from Saudi Arabia offering money to players to join Norman and his LIV Golf Investments. According to various reports from outside the UK, some of the top players were offered more than $ 120 million in PGA Tour revenue in Woods’ career.
Mickelson showed his hand in two interviews published in February. While playing in Saudi Arabia, he accused the PGA Tour of “offensive greed” and followed more provocative remarks while publishing a part of his unauthorized biography on Alan Shipnack Mickelson.
Mickelson said the Saudis were “horrified mothers-in-law” and then denied their human rights abuses – such as the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi – saying it was worthwhile to change. PGA Tour.
He further added that he does not care if the Saudi League fails, as long as he changes his mind during the tour.
Mickelson decided last Friday that he would not play in the Southern Hills, missing an opportunity to celebrate his historic victory on Kiawah Island last year when he became the oldest major golf champion at the age of 50.
He is the first PGA champion not to defend since Woods recovered from knee surgery in 2008 and avoided the Oakland Hills.
“It’s always frustrating not to have a defending champion here,” Woods said. “Phil said something that I think many of us who are committed to the tour and committed to the legacy of the tour have pushed back against it, and he has taken some personal time and we all understand that. But I think there was a lot of disagreement on some of his views on how the tour should be run, should it be run.
“She’s just taking her time and we all wish her well when she returns.”
Meanwhile, Woods is back and more optimistic than he was a month ago at the Masters. He said people close to him were thrilled to see him walk through the 72 holes of the Augusta National, the first time he had been competing since February 23, 2021, in an accident in Los Angeles that broke the bone in his right leg and ankle.
What he could think of the next day was a bad putting week that turned into a 78-78 weekend.
Tiger stood up passionately and congratulated
“I didn’t see it that way on Monday,” he said. “I was a little ticked that I didn’t put up well, and it felt like I was hitting it well enough and if I had stamina.”
He said Monday was a difficult day to recover after the Masters, and then he went back to trying to gain strength and endurance.
Woods said, “I’ve played a tournament since last year, it’s good.
He is the defending PGA champion in Southern Hills, finishing 13th out of 15 majors in 2007 and winning by two shots. And he just recognized the course after a recovery project that brought back a few shaky creeks and turned the edges of the putty surface so that they removed the shots away from the green.
The big challenge is that he is trying to defeat the players, which makes the majors the strongest field. Woods is 46, and Mickelson showed a year ago that age is just a number. However, Mickelson was playing the whole schedule. Woods, with his injuries, will appear to be limited to a maximum of four majors this year.
The nature of one help walking. Augusta is the toughest in National Golf. Southern Hills features a sharp drop from the first and 10th T and solid climbing features at the end of each of the nine. Otherwise, it’s a relatively gentle walk.
“The first mountain you climbed was Everest. This is the steepest golf course you are going to play and this is the first time you climbed and climbed it, “said Woods. “It’s going to be flattering and better.”
He still struggles on certain days. He said it was never as easy as it looked.
“But I think I’m doing well,” he said. “The more days I spend, the better, the more positive.”
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