Tiger Woods Turned Down $3 Million to Play in Saudi International Tournament

This is the second year in a row Woods has decided not to play at the event

Tiger Woods Turned Down $3M o Play in Saudi Tournament
Tiger Woods at the 2019 Hero World Challenge at Albany. (David Cannon/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / December 4, 2019 9:12 am

When the European Tour’s Saudi International tournament tees off in late January, Tiger Woods will not be in attendance.

For the second straight year, Woods has turned down a payday which is believed to be about $3 million to appear at the event.

When Woods declined the invitation last year, it was before Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

Whether that played into his decision to turn down the invitation for the second straight year is unclear as Woods told ESPN he wasn’t going to play because “it’s a long way” to travel to the event.

Dustin Johnson, who won the tournament last year, will be playing at the Saudi International, as will Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Tony Finau, Shane Lowry and Henrik Stenson.

“I understand the politics behind it,” Woods told ESPN. “But also the game of golf can help heal a lot of that, too. It can help grow it. And also a lot of top players are going to be playing there that particular week. It’s traditionally not a golf hotbed, the Middle East. But it has grown quite a bit. I remember going to Dubai for my very first time and seeing maybe two or three buildings in the skyline. Now there is a New York City skyline. Again, golf has grown.”

The Saudi International tournament will take place from January 30 through February 2.

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