It’s wild, but Tiger Woods is still the biggest attraction golf has to offer, years past his prime and his last win in a major tournament. It’s not hard to understand why: Woods was not only the most dominant player on the biggest stage in golf for two decades, but he also wasn’t boring. He had affairs, car wrecks, a crazy divorce over those affairs that started with that car wreck. He made the cover of magazines other than Golf Digest.
So while Woods in all likelihood won’t be in the top five come the last round of play at this week’s 150th British Open, when he sat down and calmly stated his beef with other golfers who won’t even be there, it was instantly the biggest story in the golf world, just like pretty much anything Woods does.
Who does Woods want smoke with now? The golfers who have abandoned the PGA Tour for the upstart LIV tour, a rival pro golfing association funded by wealthy Saudis that has been throwing money at golf stars to get them to jump ship of late. Some of golf’s biggest names like Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau—you know, boring golfers—are taking the Saudi money and running. PGA officials and even other golfers hate it.
If there was a such thing as drive-bys in golf carts, we may have seen it a few times already this summer. Tiger took the opportunity to let everybody know he’s still rocking his PGA rag.
“I disagree with it,” Woods said. “What they’ve done is they’ve turned their backs 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 organization and never really got a chance to play out here and feel what it’s 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.
That may be so, but what Woods’ sport needs to figure out is a bigger attraction than an aging star throwing shade at boring dudes in a press conference.