Tiger invokes Nicklaus and Palmer, telling Mickelson the PGA Tour offers 'plenty of money'

By Sports Desk May 17, 2022

Tiger Woods has decided to leave great rival Phil Mickelson alone with his thoughts after the reigning US PGA Championship winner pulled out of his planned title defence. 

Amid a continuing backlash over Mickelson's comments about the Saudi-backed breakaway tour, the 51-year-old has elected to skip this week's major. 

Mickelson has not played since February after angering many in the game with his remarks about the Super Golf League – now officially called the LIV Golf Invitational Series.  

The veteran American, who became the oldest major winner in history when he triumphed at Kiawah Island last year, said Saudi Arabia has "a horrible record on human rights" but added he was willing to commit to the league as it was "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates". 

Mickelson has apologised but missed the Masters and is not ready to return to the PGA Tour yet. He, along with several other golfers, has asked for a release from the PGA Tour to compete in the LIV Golf Invitational Series, which is due to start next month, but those requests have been refused. 

Woods was asked about Mickelson in a news conference at Southern Hills, Tulsa, ahead of the US PGA getting under way on Thursday. 

"I have not reached out to him. I have not spoken to him," Woods said. "A lot of it has not to do with, I think, personal issues. It was our viewpoints of how the Tour should be run and could be run, and what players are playing for and how we are playing for it. I have a completely different stance. 

"I don't know what he's going through. But I know the comments he made about the Tour and the way that it should be run, it could be run; it could be run differently and all the different financials that could have happened, I just have a very different opinion on that. And so no, I have not reached out to him." 

Woods said it was "always disappointing" for a major champion to be absent rather than defending a title. 

"Phil has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the Tour and committed to the legacy of the Tour have pushed back against, and he's taken some personal time, and we all understand that," Woods said. 

"But I think that some of his views on how the Tour could be run, should be run, [there has] been a lot of disagreement there." 

Woods described Mickelson's comments about the PGA Tour as "polarising" and pointed to the PGA Tour's long history, as well as its current lucrative events, as reason to show it full support. 

The 46-year-old pointed to how Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer had been instrumental in the Tour breaking away from the PGA of America in 1968, creating greater earning potential for the players. 

"I just think that what Jack and Arnold have done in starting the Tour and breaking away from the PGA of America and creating our Tour ... I just think there's a legacy to that," Woods said. 

"I still think that the Tour has so much to offer, so much opportunity. I believe in legacies. I believe in major championships. I believe in big events, comparisons to historical figures of the past. 

"There's plenty of money out here. The Tour is growing. But it's just like any other sport. It's like tennis. You have to go out there and earn it. You've got to go out there and play for it. We have opportunity to go ahead and do it. It's just not guaranteed up front." 

Woods, in his second major since returning from injuries sustained in a horrific February 2021 car crash, is feeling increasingly optimistic his body can help his skill set deliver a 16th major championship. 

"I feel like I can, definitely. I just have to go out there and do it," he said. "I have to do my work. Starts on Thursday and I'll be ready." 

Related items

  • Masters day three: Ludvig Aberg embracing chance to make history Masters day three: Ludvig Aberg embracing chance to make history

    Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg vowed to embrace his opportunity to make history in what promised to be a thrilling final round of the 88th Masters.

    Aberg is making his major championship debut at Augusta National after only turning professional in June, but went into the last 18 holes just three shots off the lead held by world number one Scottie Scheffler.

    No player has won the Masters in their first major start, while Fuzzy Zoeller was the last player to win a green jacket on their tournament debut in 1979.

    “I think about it all the time. I’m OK thinking about it,” Aberg said after a third round of 70.

    “Obviously I’m a competitor and I want to win tournaments. I feel very fortunate to be in this position and to be here playing golf.

    “I don’t think you should shy away from it. I don’t think you should try to push it away. I try to embrace it, and I try to be okay with all that comes with it, I guess.”

    Scheffler birdied the 18th in round three to claim a one-shot lead over Collin Morikawa, who would just be a US Open victory away from completing a career grand slam if he triumphs on Sunday.

    Max Homa was two shots off the pace following a 73 containing 17 pars and one bogey, with Aberg another stroke back and Bryson DeChambeau four off the lead after a remarkable birdie on the last.

    Shot of the day

    Bryson DeChambeau was staring at a bogey and six-shot deficit before holing out from 77 yards for an unlikely birdie on the 18th.

    Statistic of the day

    Top statistician Justin Ray suggests the winner will be one of Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, Ludvig Aberg or Bryson DeChambeau.

    Quote of the day

    Max Homa readies himself for a Sunday scrap at Augusta.

    Hardest hole

    Despite Bryson DeChambeau’s last-minute heroics, the 18th played as the hardest hole thanks to a fiendish hole location. A total of five birdies, 18 bogeys and six double bogeys resulted in a scoring average of 4.467.

    Easiest hole

    The eighth hole reclaimed its crown as the easiest hole from the second, yielding 27 birdies and just two bogeys for an average of 4.617.

    Key tee times (all BST)

    1435 Neal Shipley, Tiger Woods
    1845 Cameron Young, Tommy Fleetwood
    1905 Cameron Davis, Nicolai Hojgaard
    1915 Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele
    1925 Max Homa, Ludvig Aberg
    1935 Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa

    Weather forecast

    Mostly sunny skies and above normal temperatures are forecast for Sunday and Monday with highs in the mid to upper 80s. The wind will remain light out of the southwest and likely average 7-15 mph each day.

  • Tiger Woods suffers unwanted Masters milestone in third round Tiger Woods suffers unwanted Masters milestone in third round

    A day after setting a tournament record in the Masters, Tiger Woods suffered an unwanted milestone at Augusta National.

    Woods insisted he could challenge for a 16th major title after playing 23 holes on Friday to make a record 24th consecutive cut, but slumped to a third round of 82 instead.

    The 48-year-old’s previous worst scores both came in 2022, when he shot 78 in both the third and fourth rounds.

    Woods followed a bogey on the fourth with a superb birdie on the difficult fifth, but then bogeyed the sixth and ran up a double bogey on the seventh.

    The 15-time major winner also made a double bogey on the par-five eighth for the first time in his career and dropped another shot on the ninth in a front nine of 42.

    Woods made five more bogeys and a birdie on the 13th in a back nine of 40 in what was his 99th round in the Masters.

  • Jason Day reveals Augusta officials asked him to remove sleeveless jumper Jason Day reveals Augusta officials asked him to remove sleeveless jumper

    Jason Day has revealed that he was asked to remove his sleeveless jumper by tournament officials during the second day’s play at Augusta National.

    Day’s striking top attracted plenty of attention on social media and also, it appears, from tournament officials.

    “Yeah, they asked me to take it off, the vest off yesterday,” Day said after his third round on Saturday.

    “Respectfully, you do that because it’s all about the tournament here, and I understand that. I respect the tournament. That’s what we’re here to do is try and play and win the green jacket.”

    Asked if he had been given a specific reason for the request, such as the Malbon logo and text being too big, Day added: “I don’t know. I didn’t ask.

    “They said, can you take it off? I said, yeah, no worries.”

    Day also had no problem with jokes about the dangers of wearing very baggy trousers on an extremely windy day, admitting: “Yeah, if it’s down breeze these things puff up pretty quick.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.