After announcing his latest withdrawal from a PGA tournament, Tiger Woods took to the podium ahead of the 2022 Hero World Challenge, and spent 30 minutes lying and spinning, mostly related to LIV Golf, despite it being a PGA tour event.
The 47-year-old Woods sounded like a jilted stalker.
Unsurprisingly, no one in the media pushed back and questioned his lies and ridiculous statements.
Woods is one of the top three of four golfers in history, but he’s the undisputed GOAT when it comes to media relations (control). He learned how to spin the media long before his PGA career took off.
Witness: despite a personal life filled with multiple scandals that would have ruined the careers and social status of most any other sports figure, Woods has skated and remained one of the world’s most powerful and influential sports brands. This is primarily due to his ability to control the media.
Let’s look at some of Tiger’s most recent spin relative to LIV Golf:
1. Woods blames lack of talks on Greg Norman’s animosity towards the PGA Tour.
WOODS: “Right now as it is, not right now, not with their leadership, not with Greg there and his animosity towards the tour itself. I don’t see that happening. As Rory said and I said it as well, I think Greg’s got to leave and then we can eventually, hopefully, have a stay between the two lawsuits and figure something out.”
FACT: Norman reached out to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan several times, early on, and the PGA Tour chief refused the phone call and any kind of meeting. Monahan boasted he was done talking about LIV (before it even started) and threatened to suspend any player who teed it up in a LIV event.
LIV, on the other hand, wanted (and wants) to work with the PGA Tour, and envisioned players moving between the two tours. The animosity is all one sided: the PGA Tour mouthpieces are constantly talking negatively about LIV Golf – whether it’s Monahan, Tiger, Rory McIlroy (link) or Justin Thomas (link), LIV Golf lives rent-free in their heads.
VERDICT: BIG FAT LIE
2. Woods claims LIV Golf wins are meaningless and won’t count towards Hall of Fame.
WOODS: “And so where does your legacy stand there? You know, I went on the [LIV] tour and made a lot of money, but I never got to win any tournaments that are of value that would put me in the Hall of Fame and things of that nature.”
FACT: The World Golf Hall of Fame was basically run by the PGA Tour for the past 40 years. It was actually called a “charity” funded by the PGA Tour. Further, the Hall of Fame has a murky future. It’s been transferred to the USGA and moving to Pinehurst in 2024.
3. Woods cries poor and says the PGA tour can’t compete with the Saudi money but they are able offer younger players things like, oh, the ability to play in majors.
WOODS: “Well, the message is that we can’t compete dollar for dollar with [Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund], just we physically can’t do that. But what we can do is talk about better opportunities for younger players getting onto the tour, what it means to play the tour, how important it is, how important it is to have a legacy, [to] be able to win major championships.
“As of right now, we don’t know where the major championships stand on this. So if you’re a tour player, you already know that you’re in the major championships, you’re in the top 50, so, OK, that’s a guarantee, but the other players don’t. They’re taking a chance of never ever, ever getting a chance to play in major championships.”
FACT: The PGA Tour magically came up money to fund the $100 million PIP program (which Tiger won for being in the news), and another $200 million plus on elevated events. The threat of not being able to play in majors is the PGA Tour’s trump card. Like the Hall of Fame, the PGA Tour essentially runs the OWGR by proxy. Woods’ statement is a straight-up monopolistic tactic and a prime example of collusion.
VERDICT: FALSE (The PGA Tour is hardly poor, and their proxy control of the pro golf ecosystem – from TV network deals and equipment sponsorships to the Hall of Fame, OWGR and even match play events (Presidents, Ryder Cup) – has a value that is incalculable.)
4. Woods claims Phil Mickelson shouldn’t get any credit for raising purses and the tour’s newfound money.WOODS: “No, absolutely not, no. We took out an enormous loan during the pandemic in which if we had another year of the pandemic, our tour would only be sustained for another year. We took out an enormous loan. It worked, it paid off in our benefit, hence we were able to use that money to make the increases that we’ve made.”
FACT: This is straight up spin. And doesn’t even make sense. Let’s review: the PGA Tour supposedly almost went broke in 2020 and needed a loan just to get by. But that loan “paid off” in their “benefit.” They were then able to “use that money to make the increases.” Uh, huh. Riiiiiight!
VERDICT: BIG FAT LIE
5. Woods claims the LIV League is trying to “destroy” the PGA Tour.
WOODS: “Now, what is the best way for our game to grow? It’s not this way. But granted, you need to have the two bodies come together. If one side has so much animosity, someone trying to destroy our tour, then how do you work with that?”
FACT: It’s the PGA Tour that has banned players from LIV Golf. Not the other way around.
It’s PGA Tour players who whine and cry every time a LIV player tees it up in an event they play.
It’s PGA Tour players who spend every press conference criticizing LIV. Etc.
VERDICT: BIG FAT LIE