Tiger Woods addresses the media during a press conference at this week’s Hero World Challenge
It had been a long time since Tiger Woods sat in front of a microphone. Sure, there are the mic ’d-up range sessions and event galas where he speaks with fans. But actually sitting in front of a mic, answering questions from the media? The last time that happened he was at Augusta National, nearly eight months ago. Much has happened since.
So it was natural that one of the first questions Woods received Tuesday at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas started with an apology: “Tiger, I’m sorry to kind of go back, but we haven’t really spoken with you. What was your reaction to the June 6th framework announcement?”
That’s right, Woods hasn’t spoken publicly about the seminal day that defined much of the 2023 golf year and could define much of the golf world moving forward.
“Well, going back to that,” Woods stated, “I would say that my reaction was surprised, as I’m sure a lot of the players were taken back by it, by what happened. So quickly, without any input or any information about it, it was just thrown out there. I was very surprised that the process was what it was.”
It’s not surprising that Woods was surprised. So was every pro golfer on the planet. But Woods—the global face of the game, who decried LIV Golf and rallied the top pros into creating a Signature Events system—wasn’t going to let the Tour’s secret backroom dealings with its one-time Saudi rivals pass or further develop without closer inspection.
That’s why Woods is now one of six players on the PGA Tour’s all-important Policy Board. He never once held that position during the peak of his playing days, but he does now, thanks to a late-summer quasi-coup during which 41 pros demanded Woods be granted a place on the board.
Why did that happen? Woods is never keen to dive into detail, but for a man who doesn’t say much, it’s often telling when he repeats himself. Tuesday’s phrase of the day was just three telling words: Can’t happen again. As in, what happened in the weeks leading up to maybe the most pivotal decision in PGA Tour history can’t…happen…again.
When asked about Jay Monahan’s role as commissioner, Woods said, “I think Jay has been a part of the direction, he understands what happened prior to that can’t happen again and won’t happen again.”
When asked for the emotions that drove him to join the board, Woods said, “I think the overall emotion is…we can’t let that happen again.”
When asked about his confidence in Monahan, Woods said, “That was part of why I came on to the board is I did have faith in Jay and in what he could do going forward and what can’t happen again.”