14 May 2024

Tiger Woods admits his part in tour-LIV talks could cost him Ryder Cup captaincy

14 May 2024

Tiger Woods admitted there was a “long way to go” to complete a peace deal in golf’s civil war and hinted that his part in the process could rule him out of being Ryder Cup captain in 2025.

Negotiations between the PGA Tour, DP World and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – which bankrolls LIV Golf – have been ongoing since the shock Framework Agreement between them was announced 11 months ago.

The man who set up the deal, businessman Jimmy Dunne, abruptly resigned from the PGA Tour’s policy board on Monday saying that “no meaningful progress” had been made, while it has been widely reported that Woods was one of the players who vetoed Rory McIlroy’s return to that influential group.

“We’re working on negotiations with PIF,” Woods said ahead of the 106th US PGA Championship at Valhalla, where he beat Bob May in a play-off in 2000.

“It’s ongoing, it’s fluid, it changes day-to-day. Has there been progress? Yes. But it’s an ongoing negotiation, so a lot of work ahead for all of us with this process.

“We’re making steps and it may not be giant steps, but we’re making steps.”

Asked about McIlroy’s admission that he and Woods do not see eye to eye on the subject, Woods added: “It’s good to see it differently, but collectively as a whole, we want to see whatever’s best for all the players, the fans and the state of golf.

I need to feel that I can give the amount of time that it deserves

“How we get there, that’s to be determined, but the fact that we’re in this together and in this fight together to make golf better is what it’s all about.

“We’re trying to make the PGA Tour the best it can be day-in and day-out. That’s one of the reasons why we have arguments and we have disagreements, but we want to do what’s best for everyone in golf and the Tour.

“Without those kind of conflicts, the progress is not going to be there.”

Progress has also been slow on talks between Woods and PGA of America officials on the Ryder Cup captaincy, with the 15-time major winner favourite to captain the United States at Bethpage next year.

“We’re still talking,” Woods said. “There’s nothing that has been confirmed yet. We’re still working on what that might look like. Also whether or not I have the time to do it.

“I’m dedicating so much time to what we’re doing with the PGA Tour, I don’t want to not fulfil the role of the captaincy if I can’t do it.

“What that all entails and representing Team USA and the commitments to the PGA of America, the players and the fans – I need to feel that I can give the amount of time that it deserves.”

Woods, who was dealing with back problems the last time Valhalla staged the US PGA in 2014 and missed the cut, has played just twice this season and was forced to withdraw from the Genesis Invitational after six holes of round two.

The 48-year-old made a record 24th-consecutive cut in the Masters last month, only to slump to a third round of 82 – his worst ever score at Augusta National by four shots – and finish last of the 60 players who made the cut.

“I can still hit shots. It’s getting around is more of the difficulty that I face day-to-day and the recovery of pushing myself either in practice or in competition days,” Woods said.

“You saw it at Augusta. I was there after two days and didn’t do very well on the weekend.

“I still feel that I can win golf tournaments. I still feel I can hit the shots and still feel like I still have my hands around the greens and I can putt. I just need to do it for all four days, not like I did at Augusta for only two.”

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