Tiger Woods, top PGA Tour players meet amid LIV Golf strife; expected to take suggestions to commissioner Jay Monahan

Tiger Woods arrived Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware, home of this week’s BMW Championship, to meet with a select number of players to discuss the future of the PGA Tour and how they are performing in their ongoing battle with LIV Golf for the Best could be strengthened players in the world.

Woods, a 15-time major champion, flew to Delaware from Florida with his friend Rickie Fowler, who didn’t qualify for the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

“It was about getting all the top players on the same page,” one player who attended the meetup told ESPN. “It was a good meeting.”

The meeting, held at an off-course hotel, lasted three and a half hours, the player said, and was attended by most of the PGA Tour’s top stars, including Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and others.

Woods had similar conversations with a handful of players at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland in July, sources told ESPN, and he wanted to pitch their ideas to a wider audience of PGA Tour members.

Players are expected to forward their suggestions for improving the Tour to Commissioner Jay Monahan and other Tour Administrators.

Monahan was not invited to the meeting. He is scheduled to receive players in an informal question-and-answer session on Wednesday, a tour official told ESPN. Monahan has been hosting meetings at tournaments for the last few months.

A source told ESPN that it would not be an “all hands on deck” meeting with Woods.

A number of previous great champions, including Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson, have defected to LIV Golf, which lures players away from the PGA Tour with guaranteed contracts worth between $100 million and $200 million, up to $25 million -dollars for each of his events. Last week, the Telegraph of London reported that Open Championship winner Cameron Smith, the world’s second-ranked player, is ready to join LIV Golf. Smith dodged reporters’ questions about the report.

Woods’ meeting with players came a week after a federal judge denied an injunction against three LIV players attempting to return to the PGA Tour to play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford attempted to play at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis, Tennessee last week.

“I think it could have made things a little awkward, yes,” Spain’s Jon Rahm said in a news conference on Tuesday. “They made a choice to leave the PGA Tour, they made a choice to go on another tour, to know the consequences; and then they try to come back and you know [and it] wouldn’t have, I’d say, sat particularly well with me.

“But at the same time, they’re adults, right? They are, to a certain extent, free to do what they want, and that is what they chose. If a judge allows them, I’m not the one who can say otherwise. Might have been awkward, but I don’t think we’ll ever know.”

Patrick Cantlay, the reigning FedEx Cup champion, was asked if meeting only a limited number of players would cause another split on the PGA Tour. Cantlay said he was invited to attend the meeting.

“I think depending on the results maybe something will change,” Cantlay said. “I’m not sure what will change, what the outcome of that will be. I think it’s good that a lot of players are coming together to discuss the situation out here, especially given the current circumstances.”

https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/34409794/tiger-woods-rickie-fowler-pga-tour-players-conferring-amid-liv-golf-strife Tiger Woods, top PGA Tour players meet amid LIV Golf strife; expected to take suggestions to commissioner Jay Monahan

Emma Bowman

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