Tiger Woods said there are three things preventing any talks between the PGA Tour and LIV.
Speaking at the Hero World Challenge, where he is tournament host, Woods said LIV’s animosity toward the PGA Tour, the lawsuit filed by LIV against the PGA Tour and Greg Norman are preventing any progress to engage the two organizations in conversation.
The lawsuits would have to be dropped by both sides, and the ball is in LIV’s court on that. No one sees talks happening or the lawsuits going away now, but of course, no one saw the legal entanglements coming in the first place.
“They’re suing us first, and we counter-sued them, so they have to back off the table… and then we’ll have a place to talk,” Woods proposed when questions arose on whether LIV and the PGA Tour could ever discuss a compromise position.
"“Their leadership has to change as well. If that doesn’t, then I think it’s going to continue to go down the path that it’s going right now.” -Tiger Woods"
Though Tiger Woods didn’t say it directly, that means LIV has to fire Norman.
LIV has shown no indication that they will do that. So, for now, the sides are too far apart to even have a conversation about whether they could ever have a conversation, never mind work together on any positive outcome.
In reality, LIV has been nothing short of threatening and hostile toward the PGA Tour, its players, and the organization’s staff.
If Norman and the PIF had been smart about it at the outset, they would have approached the PGA Tour with a late fall package as a starter series, providing expensive purses for top players, which the PGA Tour was considering at one time anyway.
But Greg Norman’s and Phil Mickelson’s anger toward the Tour and their need for cash took over, and the Saudis took advantage of that to get a toehold in golf.
"“There’s a window, I think, of opportunity for us from both tours to figure this out…” — Tiger Woods on LIV Golf / PGA Tour situation."
LIV blew polite discussion off the table by holding tournaments in the US and Canada. At that point, the PGA Tour had to man the battle stations to face LIV’s antagonistic actions. Prior plans the Tour had for new events were mothballed, and the PGA Tour restructured its events to retain as many players and tournaments as possible.
Nobody knows how it will work out, but a lot of tournaments aren’t happy, and a few are. The PGA Tour schedule may actually shrink a little as a result. Honda, for one, is dropping out after this year. Would they have renewed at the end of their contract period if they had not been sandwiched between two $20 million purse events? No one will ever know.
Tiger Woods thinks the chances of getting both sides together right now are getting slimmer as the days and weeks progress.
"“There’s a window, I think, of opportunity for us from both tours to figure this out shortly. I think that window’s closing just because the majors are coming up now and they’re going to have their own criteria ( for being able to play),” Woods explained as the reason. “If they can do it quickly, before that, but again, that goes back to LIV and their lawsuit.”"
Woods noted that LIV is seeking world ranking points and that they are “buying up” tours as a part of it, hoping to add LIV events via another Tour’s ranking points.
“I don’t know what their endgame is,” Woods commented about the LIV methodology.
"“You know, they’ve spent probably close to $2 billion this year. Who’s to say they can’t spend $4 or $5 billion next year? You know, we just don’t know. It’s an endless pit of money.”"
However, as Tiger Woods noted, spending money on new events doesn’t create a legacy or a place in the history of the game.
“You want to compare yourself to Hogan, you want to compare yourself to Snead, you want to compare yourself to Nicklaus. You can’t do that over there, but you can on this tour,” he concluded.
He did not say, if you want to compare yourself to Tiger Woods, but he could have. And he is right. Tradition and history are two things LIV will never have, no matter how much money they throw at it. At least not for another 50 or 100 years.