Tiger Woods plays in this week's 150th Open and he's once again had his say on the topic of LIV Golf. We already knew that he is remaining loyal to the PGA Tour and isn't a massive fan of LIV, but this time he went in hard.
The 15-time Major winner delivered his verdict on the Saudi-backed series, criticising the format, the guaranteed money and the fact that younger players are heading there before they even experience tour life and 72-hole events. He also expressed his worry that LIV players may not be able to earn world ranking points or continue to play in Majors.
Video: What is LIV Golf?
"I disagree with it," Woods opened up with on his thoughts on LIV Golf and the players who have joined. "I think that what they've done is they've turned their back 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 organisation and never really got a chance to play out here and what it feels 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. That is a possibility.
"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, walk down the fairways at Augusta National.
"That, to me, I just don't understand it. I understand what Jack and Arnold did because playing professional golf at a Tour level versus a club pro is different, and I understand that transition and that move and the recognition that a touring pro versus a club pro is."
Woods likened the 54-hole format to the Senior Tour, and asked what the incentive to practise is when players are receiving guaranteed money. He said he had to "earn it in the dirt." The three-time Open champion also said he doesn't "see how that move is positive in the long term for a lot of these players."
"But what these players are doing for guaranteed money, what is the incentive to practise? 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."
"I can understand 54 holes is almost like a mandate when you get to the Senior Tour. The guys are little bit 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 organisation - 72-hole tests are part of it. We used to have 36-hole playoffs for Major championships. That's how it used to be - 18-hole US Open playoffs.
"I just don't see how that move is positive in the long term for a lot of these players, especially if the LIV organisation doesn't get world ranking points and the Major championships change their criteria for entering the events. 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."
Woods also spoke on the subject of Greg Norman, who is not here this week despite being a two-time Open champion. The LIV CEO was not invited to the 150th Open amid the controversy around the breakaway circuit, with Norman saying he was "disappointed" by the decision.
Earlier on Tuesday, Rory McIlroy said the R&A had made the right decision, and Woods agrees with him.
"The R&A obviously have their opinions and their rulings and their decision," he said. "Greg has done some things that I don't think is 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."
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Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
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