Tiger Woods Doesn’t Think PGA Tour Owes Phil Mickelson an Apology

The Tour increased purses and made other changes after Mickelson's criticism of its "obnoxious greed"

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson walk during The Match in 2018 in Las Vegas.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson won't be sharing the course again soon.
Christian Petersen/Getty for The Match

During a wide-ranging press conference at Albany in the Bahamas ahead of the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods was asked if Phil Mickelson deserved an apology from the PGA Tour after his criticism of the golf circuit’s “obnoxious greed” was followed by purse increases and other large-scale changes.

Tiger, who has steadfastly defended the Tour from criticism from Mickelson and other LIV Golf defectors as players from the rival circuits have traded barbs, answered: “No. Absolutely not, no.”

Woods, who will be hosting the Hero tournament but won’t be playing in the event due to problems with his foot, said the Tour wasn’t being greedy by hoarding its cash and simply didn’t have extra money to offer players.

“We took out an enormous loan during the pandemic in which that, if we had another year of the pandemic, our Tour would only be sustained for another year,” he said. “So 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.”

On Twitter, Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig offered a correction from the Tour about what Woods said.

Predictably, Mickelson added his two cents to the financial discussion.

At which point the actual facts were added to the equation.

Back in the Bahamas, Woods wasn’t done talking LIV Golf as he backed up fellow PGA Tour star Rory McIlroy’s saying that Greg Norman “needs to go” and called for the ouster of the two-time major champion as the head of the Saudi-funded series.

“I think Greg has to go, first of all, and then obviously litigation against us and then our countersuit against them, those would then have to be at a stay as well,” the 15-time major champion said. “So then we can talk. We can all talk freely…As Rory said, and I said as well, Greg’s got to leave, and then we can eventually — hopefully — have a stay between the two lawsuits and figure something out.”

Unfortunately for Woods and McIlroy, it doesn’t sound as if Norman is going anywhere as he was front and center in a new press release announcing four of the 14 destinations where LIV Golf will be playing its 2023 schedule: Mexico (El Camaleón Golf Course), Singapore (Sentosa Golf Club), Spain (Real Club Valderrama) and Australia (The Grange Golf Club).

“LIV Golf is truly a global league dedicated to expanding the sport throughout the world, and these destinations for the league’s 2023 launch showcase our commitment to tournament play at the highest level,” Norman said in the release. “These venues have played host to signature moments in golf, and we’re excited to build new traditions for the sport while delivering a first-class fan experience at some of the world’s best courses.”

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