Tiger Woods condemns Greg Norman, LIV Golf at British Open


SAINT ANDREWS, Scotland — Tiger Woods has arrived at the crazy-historic 150th British Open and has introduced alongside his voice, all earned and located and seasoned. He sounded statesmanlike on Tuesday morning as he spoke with out reluctance concerning the blaring, evident situation disrupting his sport: the breakaway, Saudi-funded LIV Tour. He even recoiled at the thought of loud music.

He began early at his information convention, fielding a query concerning the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews’s resolution to disinvite Greg Norman due to the distracting noise Norman’s presence may trigger given his chairmanship of the LIV Tour.

“The R&A obviously have their opinions and their rulings and their decision,” Woods mentioned. “Greg has done some things that I don’t think are 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.”

He specified just a few solutions later: “I know what the PGA Tour stands for and what we have done and what the tour has given us, the ability to chase after our careers and to earn what we get and the trophies we have been able to play for and the history that has been a part of this game. I know Greg tried to do this (a rival tour) back in the early ’90s. It didn’t work then, and he’s trying to make it work now.

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman calls British Open officials ‘petty’ after snub

“I still don’t see how that’s in the best interests of the game. What the European Tour and what the PGA Tour stands for and what they’ve done, and also all the professional — all the governing bodies of the game of golf and all the major championships, how they run it. I think they see it differently than what Greg sees it.”

And he didn’t flinch in his calm reply to a query concerning the cluster of gamers who’ve defected already, and who embrace main winners Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Louis Oosthuizen.

“I disagree with it,” Woods mentioned. “I think what they’ve done is they’ve turned their backs on what has allowed them to get to this position. Some players have never got a chance to even experience it. They’ve gone right from the amateur ranks right into that organization and never really got a chance to play out here and feel what it’s like to play a tour schedule or to play in some big events. And who knows what’s going to happen in the near future with world-ranking points, the criteria for entering major championships. The governing body is going to have to figure that out.

“Some of these players may not ever get a chance to play in major championships. … We don’t know that for sure yet. It’s up to all the major championship bodies to make that determination. But that is a possibility, that some players will never, ever get a chance to play in a major championship, never get a chance to experience this right here, (or) walk down the fairways at Augusta National. That, to me, I just don’t understand it.

“I understand what Jack (Nicklaus) and Arnold (Palmer) did (when they started the PGA Tour in the late 1960s) because playing professional golf at a tour level versus a club pro (level) is different, and I understand that transition and that move and the recognition that a touring pro versus a club pro is.

“But what these players are doing for guaranteed money, what is the incentive to practice? What is the incentive to go out there and earn it in the dirt? You’re just getting paid a lot of money up front and playing a few events and playing 54 holes. They’re playing blaring music and have all these atmospheres that are different.”

He trolled ever so gently.

“I can understand 54 holes is almost like a mandate when you get to the Senior Tour. The guys are a little older and a little more banged up. But when you’re at this young age and some of these kids — they really are kids who have gone from amateur golf into that organization — 72-hole tests are part of it … It would be sad to see some of these young kids never get a chance to experience it and experience what we’ve got a chance to experience and walk these hallowed grounds and play in these championships.”

Who could win the 2022 British Open — and who won’t

Woods did pronounce himself “very optimistic” concerning the sport’s future, noting “the greatest golf boom ever right now because of covid,” and the way golf turned an outside respite from indoor isolation. “Just look at the tour,” he mentioned, “the average age is getting younger and younger, and they’re just getting better earlier and faster and they’re winning at earlier ages.

He spoke at fond length about the most hallowed of those grounds, Saint Andrews, as it celebrates an anniversary with the number “150” omnipresent on shirts and indicators round right here. “It is my favorite,” he mentioned of the course, and he recalled taking part in the 1995 occasion as an beginner alongside Ernie Els and Peter Jacobsen the primary two days. He spoke of how the timelessness has outweighed the know-how, in order that with impolite winds on Tuesday, “On 10, I hit a 6-iron from 120 yards.”

And he spoke as an oldster when he mentioned, “And with the fairways being fast and firm, it allows players who are older to run the ball out there and have a chance.”

This course is not going to problem his physique as did the extreme undulations of Augusta National at the Masters in April or the slopes of Southern Hills in Tulsa at the PGA Championship in May. In these circumstances, the strolling bested {the golfing} as a problem to a decrease proper leg broken and infused with {hardware} after his horrifying automotive crash in California in February 2021.

“It’s still not easy,” he mentioned. “Granted, the inclines are not steep in any way. They’re not — the declines are not steep. But it’s the unevenness that is still difficult on me. I have a lot of hardware in my leg.” He mentioned, “Playing Augusta, I didn’t know. My leg was not in any condition to play 72 holes. It just ran out of gas. But it’s different now. It’s gotten a lot stronger, a lot better.”

Where as soon as he got here right here and ordered a wooden plank to his room to harden the mattress for his again, he mentioned, now he orders “more ice.”

At the tip, he took one other query apt for a statesman, about whether or not he believes the brand new technology shares his appreciation for historical past. And whereas he mentioned they might examine historical past of their telephones these days, he waxed extra concerning the golf historical past he is aware of. “I saw Bob Charles out there on 18 hitting,” he mentioned. “I think he won in ’63 (accurate) or something like that. Just to be able to see that in person, live, god, it was so special. I just hope the kids appreciate that.” He ended, “Nothing’s ever given to you. You have to go out there and earn it, and I earned it through the dirt. I’m very proud of that.”

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