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Tiger Woods answered the question. But his answer was still telling

Tiger Woods while speaking to the media on Tuesday at the PGA Championship.

getty photos

Don't believe what you've read or heard: Tiger Woods it can be bring to press conferences. When asked a question that he enjoys answering or pondering – usually those questions have to do with the X's and O's of game management – he can provide an answer as well written as any of his peers. At the PGA Championship on Tuesday, we saw and heard glimpses of that when Woods was asked to assess the games of Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy. After referring to Scheffler's unusual footwork and McIlroy's good finish (“Looks like a statue, doesn't it?”), Woods offered this insight:

“When you're on the range and you watch them hit the golf balls or you listen, especially listening to them hit the golf balls, there's a different sound to it, because they don't just miss the center of the face.”

Amazing stuff.

If only Woods had always been open about his thoughts, especially when it came to the difficult landscape of professional men's golf. The madness reached another level of madness Monday when Jimmy Dunne, the former golfer who helped broker the PGA Tour's 2023 draft deal with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, announced he has resigned from his position as an independent director on the Tourism Policy Board. , in part because the board had not made “meaningful progress” on the deal with PIF. Dunne added that, in his role, he feels “completely out of place.”

Superfluous – “exceeding what is sufficient or necessary,” according to Merriam Webster – is not, and will not be, an adjective you can apply to Tiger Woods. On the other hand, Woods is necessary, important, longing for. When he plays, the world watches. When he limps, the world jumps. When he speaks, the world leans on him and listens. Not only his fans but also his peers, Tour and PIF brass and anyone else involved in the sport. That's why last summer 41 of Woods' other players — Scheffler and McIlroy among them — banded together to demand that the Tour make room for Woods. The men's pro game was in turmoil, players were still reeling from Dunne's secret dealings with the Saudis and, in the players' eyes, the Tour's dominance needed to be shaken up. It required, among other things, the capacity of Tiger Woods.

It was so. Woods, who had never held a board seat before or shown much interest, at least not publicly, in getting his hands dirty with Tour management, was in the middle. The move was significant not only because Woods was assuming a position of influence but also because of his appointment. it meant that the players on the board – Woods joined McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, Charley Hoffman, Peter Malnati and Webb Simpson – now outnumbered the five non-players. Professionals now hold majority control. In a statement, Woods said, “…the players will do everything in their power to ensure that any changes made to the operation of the tour benefit all stakeholders on the Tour, including fans, sponsors and players.”

One of the first times Woods was publicly asked about his new role came in February, at the Genesis Invitational. Was Woods asked what he would say to fans who have grown frustrated with the endless talk of money in men's golf? It's a common question in print houses these days. Woods spoke about the importance of having “the best players who have played,” as well as the importance of history, culture and the “ways” of the tour. He also talked about Strategic Sports Group, which a few weeks ago had agreed to invest up to $3 billion in the Tour's new for-profit unit, PGA Tour Enterprises. The alliance, Woods said, “will give us information and help and try to make the best trip we can have.”

Tiger Woods tees off on the green at the PGA Championship

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If you were one of those disappointed fans, you were probably hoping to hear more from Woods.

A few months later, at the Masters, Woods was asked about the first in-person meeting he and other board members had in March with the head of the PIF, Yasir Al-Rumayyan. “I don't know if we're close, but we're definitely headed in the right direction,” Woods said. “That was a very good meeting, and I think both sides came out of the meeting feeling good.”

Also, maybe you were hoping to hear more.

On Tuesday, more questions for Woods, whose Tour CV seems to be growing by the month. Flip past the “Accomplishments” section (82 Tour wins, yadda yadda) to “Work experience” and you'll find:

– Member, PGA Tour Policy Board, 2023-present
-Vice chair, Board of PGA Tour Enterprises, 2024-present
– Member, PGA Tour Enterprises' Transaction Subcommittee, 2024-present

Woods suddenly has a hand in everything. He took on the third of those roles earlier this month, and it's critical when it comes to shaping the future of pro golf, because members of that seven-person committee — including two other players, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott — have been empowered. by only managing all direct conversations with PIF. They are the new Jimmy Dunnes.

Still, despite Woods' growing responsibilities, there is at least one task he still seems unwilling to do: communicating the state of Tour-PIF relations with foreign countries. On Tuesday, he was asked many questions about the matter. Regarding the nature of negotiations (“ongoing; fluid; changing from day to day”); about the provisions he would like to see as part of the agreement (“…we are taking steps. That's all I can say”); about how Dunne described his “overwhelming” role (“his role and his help… has been enormous”).

It's not really an intelligible font. Look, we get it. There are questions that Woods cannot answer directly. Negotiations are layered and complex and fraught – even the smallest leak or spread of inaccurate information can be costly. But Woods, with his new titles and access to information, can and should do better. He doesn't have to give us everything, but he certainly owes us something. A nugget here, a meaningful update there. An idea. A peek or two behind the curtain.

Look at his peers. Rory McIlroy's integrity and thoughtfulness are well documented, but there is more. Max Homa, asked on Tuesday about fans being turned off by all the politics, gave an almost 400-word response that included the observation: “I don't like where he's going. It must be exhausting to be a casual golf fan at this point. I don't know why you would want to hear about the business side of this game.” Jordan Spieth was colorful, too. When asked about the players who seem to be pushing back for more control, he said, “When you're in the room, it's obvious that the players are talking about the future of golf and the PGA Tour. Like, it needs to be, you need to have the perspective of everyone on both sides of you, and everyone involved within the Business. You have a lot of strategic investors who know more than all of our players.”

from left: jimmy dunne, yasir al-rumayyan, tiger woods

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Ironically, the most publicized part of Woods' Tuesday press conference came from one of his testy answers. After Woods answered a reporter's question about whether he had opened himself up to a trip to discuss the way forward with Saudi investment, the reporter asked again, “Have you opened yourself up?”

“I'm personally involved in this process,” said Woods.

That ambiguous answer is open to interpretation. My interpretation: No, Woods is not, in fact, irrational about cutting the deal with PIF but he is also not willing to up and leave the table. It is what it is, as he likes to say. Woods is a staunch Tour loyalist, as you would be, if your name was engraved on many Tour Trophies and all of its records. A broken game and many competing shops for the world's best players are not beneficial to Woods or his legacy. In his mind, the Tour i journey, mountain top, measuring stick. It always has been and it should be.

The last question Woods faced on Tuesday was a familiar one, about fans' poor relationship with the men's game. Woods acknowledged that fans may be tired of all the shenanigans and bickering, adding, “It's about what LIV is doing, what we're doing, the players coming back, the players leaving — the fans want to see us play together. How we get there will have to be determined.”

Woods will be among those decisions. Don't just insist that he let us all in.

Alan Bastable Editor

As editor-in-chief of, Bastable is responsible for the editorial direction and voice of one of the game's most respected and heavily trafficked news and services outlets. He wears many hats – planning, writing, imagining, developing, dreaming in one day when he breaks 80 – and feels privileged to work with an insanely smart and hard-working team of writers, editors and producers. Before taking over, he was the features editor at GOLF Magazine. A graduate of the University of Richmond and the Columbia School of Journalism, he lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children.

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