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Tiger Woods insists a deal between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which bankrolls LIV Golf, “can’t happen again” without players being consulted.
There was widespread anger among players following the shock proposed deal on 6 June between golf’s rival factions, with Jon Rahm admitting he felt a sense of “betrayal” that the deal was negotiated in secret.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan faced calls to resign when the framework agreement was revealed and the 15-time major champion has now joined the PGA Tour’s policy board as a player-director to ensure the tour remains a player-driven organisation.
“Jay understands what happened prior to that can’t happen again, and it won’t happen again, not with the players involved. Not with the player-directors having the role we have,” Woods said at the Hero World Challenge ahead of his first tournament since withdrawing from the Masters in April and undergoing foot surgery.
“The overall emotion is we can’t let that happen again; how do we do that? Having six player-directors, we control the board and what we’re going to do. We can’t let what transpired without our involvement happen again.”
Woods also detailed his immediate reaction to the framework agreement, which has a deadline of 31 December, adding that there are “other options” on the table.
“My reaction was surprise,” Woods added. “A lot of players were taken aback by it. So quickly, without any feedback or information. I was surprised that the process was what it was.
“We were frustrated with what happened. We took steps moving forward to ensure player involvement wasn’t going to be left out of the process, Part of that process is putting me on the board.
“I’m pleased to add the process and frustrated in some of the slowness and governance change that we want to happen. December 31 is coming up quickly. There is a timetable there that we would like to implement some of these changes that haven’t taken place.
“All the parties are talking and aggressively trying to get a deal done. We’re trying to make sure the process is better. Implementation of governance. Getting the deal done, but getting it done the right way.
“We have multiple options, we would like a deal done December 31. All parties understand that. There are other options out there. As long as a player has input and has faster decisions, as long as the board recognises that. That’s one of the key things the player-directors have focused on. The entire board has been accepting of that.”
Woods will play alongside Justin Thomas in the first round in the Bahamas on Thursday and revealed his goal is to play one tournament per month in 2024.
“The best scenario would be a tournament per month,” Woods said. “I think that’s realistic. Start at the Genesis, something in March, the Players… the biggest events are one per month. It’s set up for that, I need to get myself ready for that.”