Players pledge unity after meeting Tiger

The Herald

WASHINGTON. — Some of the PGA Tour’s top stars said they left a Tuesday night players’ meeting, which included Tiger Woods, in alignment about the future of their tour amid the mounting threat of the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

With the BMW Championship set to start yesterday morning, much of the buzz around Wilmington (Del.) Country Club has centred on that meeting and the continuing feud between the duelling golf organisations rather than the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Woods, who is not in the field this week and has played sparingly since his car crash in February 2021, has been candid about his allegiance to the PGA Tour as upstart LIV Golf has poached several high-profile golfers, including major winners Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.

Preventing more defections has become part of the agenda for Woods, who spoke about the importance of legacy before the start of the British Open last month at the Old Course at St. Andrews. Justin Thomas, who is close friends with Woods, provided a bit of insight on Wednesday morning on the significance of the 15-time major champion making the trip to Delaware to meet with some of the tour’s leading players at a Wilmington hotel.

“If someone like him is passionate about it, no offence to all of us, but that’s really all that matters,” Thomas said. “If he’s not behind something, then one, it’s probably not a good idea in terms of the betterment of the game, but two, it’s just not going to work. He needs to be behind something.

“He’s been a great kind of leading role in a lot of ways in the game for a lot of us.”

Thomas did not disclose specifics of what was discussed at the meeting, which took place after practice rounds on Tuesday, but he said the tenor of the conversation centred on what would be best for PGA Tour players as LIV offers exorbitant amounts of money to lure away stars.

Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner and another vocal supporter of the PGA Tour in its contentious battle with LIV, indicated that the meeting offered a respite from the sport’s conflict.

“The one thing that came out of it, which I think was the purpose, is all the top players on this tour are in agreement and alignment of where we should go going forward, and that was awesome,” McIlroy said.

Among the more notable players in line to join LIV is Cameron Smith, according to the Telegraph. The No. 2 player in the world and British Open winner withdrew from the BMW Championship on Monday, two days after he incurred a two-stroke penalty at the St. Jude Championship, the first of three events in the FedEx Cup playoffs. — Washington Post.

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