Tiger Woods slams LIV Golf participants: "I just don't understand it"

Westchester County, New York - Golf legend Tiger Woods blasted players participating in the LIV Golf tournaments during in a spicy press conference on Tuesday.

15-time major champion Tiger Woods.
15-time major champion Tiger Woods.  © Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

As the 150th Open Championship begins on Thursday at St. Andrews, one of the storylines that continues to dominate headlines is the inclusion of LIV Golf members in the competition.

Tiger Woods, who skipped the US Open in order to get healthy, will return to play this week and he had a few things to say about those taking part in the Saudi-backed tournament.

"I disagree with it [the players' decision to join LIV Golf] ," Woods said. "I think that what they've done is they've turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position."

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The controversial series has created heavy divisions in the golf world. Several players, including major champions Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Brooks Koepka, have joined the LIV Golf series, accepting suspension from the PGA Tour as a consequence.

Fronted by former world No. 1 Greg Norman, the LIV Golf series is funded by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who is widely believed to have been involved in Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi's grisly murder in 2018.

Woods, who is crowned with three open victories, supported the Royal & Ancient (R&A) Golf Club's decision not to invite Norman to St. Andrews for the celebration of the 150th Open.

Woods uncertain of LIV players future

15-time major champion Tiger Woods.
15-time major champion Tiger Woods.  © Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Woods, a 15-time major champion, has also wondered how players could jeopardize their opportunities to play in major championships.

Since the LIV Golf Invitational Series is not yet recognized by the Official World Golf Ranking, its players will not receive world points for its competitions.

"Who knows what's going to happen in the near future with world-ranking points, the criteria for entering major championships," the 46-year-old said. "The governing body is going to have to figure that out."

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"Some of these players may not ever get a chance to play in major championships. That is a possibility. We don't know that for sure yet. It's up to all the major championship bodies to make that determination."

Woods, who will be playing in only his third official tournament since he was seriously injured in a car wreck outside Los Angeles in February 2021, has now walked 58 holes since arriving in St. Andrews on Saturday after Tuesday's practice.

Still recovering from the accident, Woods said he is able to walk a lot more holes and regained much strength back since working in the weight room and building his endurance.

Woods tees off in Thursday's first round at 9:59 AM EDT with US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and Max Homa.

Cover photo: Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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