Tiger Woods was ‘alpha’ in room during PGA Tour players’ LIV Golf meeting

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas were among those in attendance for a players-only meeting Tuesday evening at the Hotel Du Pont, about 10 minutes from Wilmington (Del.) Country Club, site of this week’s BMW Championship. It lasted more than three hours, with Woods, who flew up with Fowler for the powwow on Woods’ private jet, serving as the “alpha” in the room, according to McIlroy, when it came to the conversations.

The talks centered around getting the game’s top players on the same page when it comes to LIV Golf, as well as sharing ideas on how to improve the PGA Tour to keep more big names from bolting for the rival Saudi-backed circuit.

Though many of the specifics on those ideas are for now being kept between the players and commissioner Jay Monahan, who was not in attendance but is expected to meet individually with players at the BMW on Wednesday, the general consensus according to three players on hand was that everyone left the meeting largely in agreement and feeling positive about the overall direction the discussions are headed.

golf, sports, justin thomas, liv golf, pga tour, rickie fowler, rory mcilroy, tiger woods, tiger woods was ‘alpha’ in room during pga tour players’ liv golf meeting

Tiger Woods flew from his home in South Florida to this week’s BMW Championship in Delaware for a players-only meeting about LIV Golf.

AP

Exclusive shot of Tiger Woods arriving at Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington. He’s here to talk with other members of the PGA tour to rally support.
📸 @WILL___CBS3 @CBSPhiladelphia pic.twitter.com/1gLyrwpWlo

— Pat Gallen (@PatGallenCBS3) August 16, 2022

🚨#VIDEO: Tiger Woods & Rickie Fowler step off the jet in Philly. Tiger is driving to the meeting at the BMW 👀 pic.twitter.com/wXjAJi6fFo

— TWLEGION (@TWlegion) August 16, 2022

“Everyone in the room left in a better spot and excited about what’s potentially to come,” one player who was at the meeting told The Post. “Any time you can get a group of guys like that together [in the same room], that doesn’t happen often. Maybe it should’ve happened a while ago.”

Woods’ presence went a long way, too.

The 15-time major champion didn’t qualify for the playoffs but flew in from his home in South Florida anyway, bringing Fowler with him. Once at the hotel and with many of the top players in the field for this week’s BMW in attendance, Woods drew high praise from his colleagues for being the leading voice in the room.

“It’s impactful, and I think it shows how much he cares about the Tour,” McIlroy said Wednesday. “I think it shows how much he cares about the players that are coming through and are going to be the next generation.

“Like it or not, they can’t really sell Tiger Woods anymore. The Tour had an easy job for 20 years. They don’t have Tiger — yes, they’ve got a bunch of us and we’re all great players, but we’re not Tiger Woods. We’re moving into a different era, and we just have to think about things a little differently. … Tiger’s role is navigating us to a place where we all think we should be.”

golf, sports, justin thomas, liv golf, pga tour, rickie fowler, rory mcilroy, tiger woods, tiger woods was ‘alpha’ in room during pga tour players’ liv golf meeting

Rory McIlroy addressed a players-only meeting about LIV Golf with the media Wednesday at the BMW Championship.

Getty Images

Much of that place is centered around finding ways to get the game’s top players playing together in many of the same tournaments, and figuring out ways to guarantee the players who move the needle on tour more money.

LIV Golf, meanwhile, has already plucked Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, among others, with huge guaranteed deals — both for joining the league and for their performance in its 54-hole, no-cut tournaments.

Backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which is valued at more than $600 billion, it’s an arms race that the Tour can’t compete with. So Monahan & Co., must find other ways to appeal to players, at least enough to keep them from jumping ship.

Woods, who has been staunchly opposed to LIV Golf and said at last month’s British Open that players who have joined the renegade outfit have “turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.”

“I think if someone like [Woods] is passionate about it, no offense to all of us, but that’s really all that matters,” Thomas said. “If he’s not behind something, then one, it’s probably not a good idea in terms of the betterment of the game, but two, it’s just not going to work. He needs to be behind something.”

The message was at least heard, by players and apparently by Monahan.

“The Tour can’t continue to do the same things over and over and expect to continue to be the best,” one player who was at the meeting told The Post. “LIV didn’t come up out of nowhere; they saw an opportunity. But the Tour has been maybe trying more than in the past, too, which is good to see.”

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