Tiger Woods is scheduled to meet with some of the best golfers in the world on Tuesday as he tries to stop defections from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed. LIV Golf Series.
The story was first reported by the Fire Pit Collective and sources then confirmed the plans to ESPN. The meeting will be held at the site of the BMW Championship, which begins on Tuesday in Delaware.
“It’s a meeting to get the 20 best players in the world on the same page about how we can continue to do the PGA Tour the best product in professional golf,” a player who was invited to the meeting told ESPN on Monday.
Several former major champions including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia have joined the LIV Series, which offers guaranteed contracts reportedly worth more than $100m in some cases. Reports in recent weeks have linked the reigning Open champion, Cameron Smith, with a move to the new series. last week, an American judge blocked three LIV rebels from playing in the PGA Tour’s end-of-season playoff series.
LIV’s commissioner, Greg Norman, said earlier this month that Woods turned down an offer in the range of $800 million to tie the series.
Woods himself has expressed his objection to players joining the LIV Series. “I disagree with it,” Woods said in July. “I think what they’ve done is they’ve turned their backs on what allowed them to get to this position.”
The LIV Series is not yet recognized by the Official World golf Ranking, which helps determine the fields for the majors.
“Who knows what will happen in the near future with world ranking points, the criteria to enter major championships,” Woods said. “The board will have to figure that out.
“Some of these players may never get a chance to play in major championships. That’s a possibility. We don’t know that for sure yet. It’s up to all the major championship bodies to make that determination. But it’s a possibility that some players will never, ever get a chance to play in a major championship, will never get a chance to experience this right here, walk the fairways at Augusta National. That, to me, I just don’t get it.”
Woods is not the only prominent golfer to speak out against the LIV Series. Rory McIlroy has regularly expressed his displeasure with LIV players trying to compete on the PGA Tour.
“I don’t begrudge anyone for going to play LIV or taking guaranteed money,” McIlroy said last week. “If that’s your prerogative and what you want to do, that’s fine.
“I think where the outrage comes from the membership of this tour is the fact that they want to try to come back here without consequences. Anyone who has read the PGA Tour handbook or followed the rules and regulations would feel very unfair to them. It was a good day for the Tour and for most of the members yesterday.”