Golf legend Tiger Woods has sensationally been accused by LIV Golf of doing the PGA Tour’s ‘bidding’ in discouraging young golfers from joining the breakaway league.
The accusations came in court documents submitted by 10 LIV Golf players as part of an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, where they claim they were being punished for joining the rebel league.
Tiger Woods reportedly turned down a figure around the AU$1 billion (US$700m) mark to join the Saudi Arabian-backed league, according to LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman who confirmed the figure on Fox News.
He has since been outspoken in his criticism of those who have joined the league, which hasn’t sat well with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Ian Poulter.
In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, the golfers accused the PGA Tour of getting the 46-year-old to publicly attack the league to dissuade fellow golfers.
The lawsuit read: “The Tour also got Tiger Woods to do its bidding and publicly criticize golfers— particularly younger golfers—for joining LIV Golf by suggesting they would never play in The Masters, The Open, or other Majors and would not earn OWGR points.”
The 15-time major champion spoke about the rebel league ahead of 2022 Open Championship in St Andrews where brutally indicated that the golfers joining LIV were ‘turning their back’ on the sport.
While also noting that young players who join the league would miss out on the glory of playing in Major Championships.
He said: “I disagree with those who have gone to LIV, I think they have turned their back on what allowed them to get to this position.
“Some players have never had a chance to even experience playing on one of the tours.
“They have gone right from the amateur ranks to that organisation and never really had a chance to feel what it is like to play a schedule or play in big events.
“Some of these players may never even get a chance to play in major championships. That is a possibility. They will never get a chance to experience this right here. Walk down the fairways at Augusta National.”
The comments do seem to be in line with the LIV Golfer’s complaints.
Tiger Woods has rejected a nearly $800M offer to join the Saudi golf tournament series. Not a fan of his, but I applaud this. Good morning. 👏☕️— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) August 2, 2022
Woods also criticised those younger golfers for not going through the hard yards of 72-hole tests and having no incentive to get better.
He continued: “I can understand 54 holes for the Senior Tour. The guys are older and a little more banged up. When you are young, 72-hole tests are part of it. We used to have 36-hole play-offs for majors.
“I just don't see how this is positive in the long term. It would be sad to see some of these young kids never get a chance to walk these hallowed grounds and play in these majors.”
The lawsuit claims that Woods’ comments echoed evidence that the PGA Tour was putting pressure on the Majors to join their ‘unlawful’ boycott of LIV Golf players.
Featured Image Credit: Action Plus Sports Images / Alamy. Veronica Bruno / Alamy.
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