Tiger Woods attends meeting with PGA Tour players at BMW Championship over LIV Golf threat
Reports suggest that Tiger Woods will meet as many as 20 players plus the most influential golfers who have not yet joined the LIV Golf series; Watch the BMW Championship from August 18, live on Sky Sports Golf from 5pm
Last Updated: 17/08/22 9:04am
Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler headed to the BMW Championship to attend a player meeting regarding the LIV Golf Invitational Series and its threat to the PGA Tour.
As first reported by Fire Pit Collective and ESPN late Monday night, Woods was expected to "rally support around the PGA Tour" among the top players in the world who have not already defected to LIV.
Many of the top 20 players in the world and other influential PGA Tour members were in attendance, with the conference reported to have lasted three and a half hours.
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"It was about all the top players getting on the same page," an unnamed player who was at the gathering told ESPN. "It was a good meeting."
The group apparently included Fowler, who was seen leaving a plane at a Philadelphia airport with Woods and getting into a car with him to make the rest of the trip to Delaware.
A longtime fan favourite and sponsor magnet, Fowler has not won on tour since February 2019 and has fallen to No 173 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He is not competing at the BMW Championship this week because he failed to qualify for the second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs during last week's playoff opener, the FedEx St Jude Championship.
Fowler has long been linked to LIV, and he confirmed the Saudi-financed circuit made him a large offer to make the jump. But in an interview published by Golfweek on Monday, Fowler indicated a willingness to stay with the PGA Tour despite its shortcomings.
"The Tour has been the best place to play, currently is and I'd like to see it continue to be," Fowler said. "But you can't expect to stay the same and be the best all the time, if that makes sense."
Woods held similar talks with some top players last month at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland, per reports, and wanted to keep the dialogue going on a wider scale as an ambassador for the tour.
Rahm: It could have made things a little bit awkward
Jon Rahm admitted on Tuesday to paying "zero attention" to the LIV Golf court ruling last week.
LIV Golf members Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones had asked for a temporary restraining order to allow them to compete in the FedExCup playoffs, but US District Judge Beth Labson Freeman sided with the PGA Tour.
"Well, I can tell you I had zero attention on it," the 27-year-old Spaniard said. "I only found out that it was going on because I walked by player dining and I saw about 10 really nervous people pacing all around the room and I thought, 'Well, there's something going on.'
"I asked and heard what was going on. But I never really - I was in the room when the judge made her decision known, but only because I was walking by and they told me it was time. "So I was like, yeah, I'll stay."
Rahm, a former World No 1, was also asked if the court ruling could have created tension if it had gone in the favour of the LIV players.
"I think it could have made things a little bit awkward, yeah," he said.
"They chose to leave the PGA Tour, they chose to go join another tour knowing the consequences; and then try to come back and get, you know, courts and justice in the way wouldn't have, I would say, sit extremely well with me.
"But at the same time, they are adults, right? They are free to do as they please, to an extent, and that's what they chose to do. If they are allowed by a judge, I'm nobody to say otherwise. Would have been awkward, possibly, but I guess we'll never know."
Gooch, Swafford and Jones would have qualified for the FedExCup playoffs based on their position in the points standings had they not been suspended for playing LIV events without the PGA Tour's consent.
Watch the BMW Championship live on Sky Sports from Thursday. Live Featured Group coverage begins from 2pm via the red button, before moving to Sky Sports Golf at 5pm.
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