Tiger Woods at the US PGA Championship: “I believe in legacies, I believe in major championships”

The 15-time winner of golf’s greatest titles responded to questions about the LIV Golf Series with support for tradition.

It was inevitable that Tiger Woods would be asked about the breakaway LIV Golf Series ahead of this week's US PGA Championship and when it happened he did not pull any punches.

"I still think the Tour has so much to offer, so much opportunity," he said.

"I understand different viewpoints, but I believe in legacies, I believe in major championships and big events, comparisons to historical figures of the past.

"There is plenty of money out there. The Tour is growing - like any other sport, like tennis, you have to go out there and earn it."

It was also clear that Woods would face questions about the absence this week of the defending champion - and his long-time rival - Phil Mickelson.

The latter has not played since early in the year after critical comments about the Saudi-led LIV Golf Series, and his use of that project in his beef with the PGA Tour, were revealed.

"It is always disappointing when the defending champion is not here," said Woods.

"Phil has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the Tour and the legacy of the Tour have pushed back against.

"We all understand that, but I think that some of his views on the Tour, there has been a lot of disagreement there. But as we all know, as a professional we miss him being out here. He is a big draw for the game of golf, he is just taking his time and we all wish him the best when he comes back."

Woods believed that the modern world facilitated Mickelson's fall from grace.

"Social media has changed the landscape in how fast things can ramp up, whether it is real news or fake news or whatever it is, opinions get out there instantly," he said.

"It can sway very quickly one way or the other - what we are seeing right now in society is it is very bipolar. There is no middle ground, you stand one way or the other.

"It is very polarising and the viewpoints Phil has made and what the Tour has meant to all of us has been polarising as well."

He added: "I have not spoken to him. A lot of it has not to do with personal issues, it is viewpoints of how the Tour should be run and could be run and what players are playing for and how we are playing for it. I have a completely different stance on that."

READ MORE: Rory McIlroy at the US PGA Championship: Paired with Tiger Woods, says Phil Mickelson absence "sad"

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