Tiger Woods will meet some of the best golfers in the world on Tuesday as he tries to stop defecting from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.
The story was first reported by the Fire Pit Collective and sources later confirmed the plans to ESPN. The meeting will take place at the BMW Championship venue, which begins Tuesday in Delaware.
“It’s a meeting to get the top 20 players in the world on the same page about how we can continue to make the PGA Tour the best product in professional golf,” a player 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 in some cases offers guaranteed contracts that are said to be worth more than $100 million. Reports in recent weeks have linked the reigning Open champion, Cameron Smith, with a move to the new series. Last week, a U.S. judge blocked three LIV rebels from entering the season-ending playoff series of the PGA Tour.
LIV’s commissioner, Greg Norman, said earlier this month that Woods had turned down an $800 million offer to join the series.
Woods himself has expressed his objection to players participating in the LIV Series. “I disagree,” 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 has not yet been 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 points in the world rankings, the criteria for entering 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 for sure yet. It’s up to all the major championship bodies to make that decision. But that’s a possibility, that some players never get a chance to play in a major championship, never get a chance to experience this here, walk the fairways of Augusta National. That, to me, I just don’t understand.”
Woods isn’t the only prominent golfer to speak out against the LIV Series. Rory McIlroy has regularly expressed his displeasure with LIV players attempting to compete on the PGA Tour.
“I don’t begrudge anyone playing LIV or taking guaranteed money,” McIlroy said last week. “If that’s your privilege and what you want to do, fine.
“I think where the resentment comes from, from being a member of this tour, is the fact that they want to try and get back here with no repercussions. Anyone who has read the PGA Tour handbook or follows the rules and regulations would feel very unfair to them. Yesterday was a good day for the Tour and for the majority of the members.”