Sunday, June 23, 2024

Tiger sees an end in sight for golf’s civil war

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An initial ‘framework agreement’ between the PIF – which bankrolls the breakaway LIV Golf league – the PGA Tour and DP World Tour was announced on June 6 last year and had a deadline of December 31, but that was subsequently extended.

During February, the US-based PGA Tour circuit secured an investment deal with Strategic Sports Group (SSG), which would see their players benefit from equity of more than A$2.12 billion and also allow for a future “co-investment” from the PIF.

“We’re closer to that point than we were pre-meeting. We discussed a lot of different endings and how we get there,” Woods said of the meeting in New York that included PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

“Both sides walked away from the meeting; we all felt very positive at the end of the meeting. Both sides are looking for different ways to get to the end game. Yes, there are going to be differences of opinion but we all have the same goal in mind.”

Woods is back at Pinehurst No 2 for this weekend’s U.S Open for the first time since his runner-up finish to New Zealand’s Michael Campbell on the layout in 2005, prior to a major redesign.

The biggest difference in the Pinehurst No. 2 course now is the change to Bermuda grass, which Woods said will make shot selection options “more plentiful.”

To that end, Woods has focused since the PGA Championship last month on working on his fitness but also on chipping and putting.

“Nothing can prepare for the amount of shots you really can’t simulate on the golf course this week,” said Woods, who played at Pinehurst No. 2 last week to get a feel for the course in varied conditions.

“It’s going to feel like home. Hot and humid is what we deal with in Florida every single day. The mental tax the heat is going to bring is going impact all of us.”

Charlie Woods, Tiger’s son, has been alongside him this week. Tiger Woods said his presence makes the tournament more special regardless of how the game goes.

He said: “It’s great for us to be able to share these moments together. I trust him with my swing – he’s seen it more than anyone else in the world. I tell him what to look for, especially with the putting. I get so entrenched with hitting certain (shots). We have a great rapport and a great relationship like that.”

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