Tiger Woods says fans are tired of LIV debate but can’t foresee a deal with PGA Tour anytime soon

Even the entry of Tiger Woods into talks between the PGA Tour and LIV’s Saudi backers hasn’t brought about peace and it’s having an effect on fans.

With on-course expectations diminishing for Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship, focus has switched to his “personal” role in discussions with the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

But even the GOAT conceded that he couldn’t make a deal happen fast enough for the disenfranchising talk around golf’s future to go away.

It’s been five months since the original December 31 deadline for the “framework agreement” signed by the PGA Tour and PIF, the backers of LIV Golf, to potentially bring warring factions to peace, was extended indefinitely.

Not only has there been no formal agreement reached, there have also been indications any deal could be a long way off, with Jimmy Dunne, who was crucial to the secret coming together of the two factions, walking away from his role in the potential unification.

As players, including LIV star Jon Rahm and PGA Tour stalwart Rory McIlroy, continue to call for a move towards a world tour as the future of the game, and others bemoan the draining impact the saga has had on golf fans, Woods used a media call at the PGA in Louisville to try to paint a rosier picture.

Woods, who met with PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan earlier this year and now has a permanent role on the PGA Tour policy board, said he was “personally involved in the process” that was “fluid” and “changes day-to-day”, which isn’t a ringing endorsement for progress.

“We’re working on negotiations with PIF. It’s ongoing; it’s fluid; it changes day-to-day,” he said.

“Has there been progress? Yes, but it’s an ongoing negotiation, so a lot of work ahead for all of us with this process. We’re making steps and it may not be giant steps, but we’re making steps.”

Woods has never been an over-sharer when it comes to information and maintained that stance amid more questioning about that lack of perceived progress.

“I’m not going to comment on our negotiations except that we’re making steps. That’s all I can say,” he said.

But he did bite when questioned about the ongoing impact of the drawn-out process, the constant political talk, on fans drained by the lack of focus on the golf.

“I think the fans are probably as tired as we are of the talk of not being about the game of golf and about not being about the players,” he said.

“It’s about what LIV is doing, what we’re doing, players coming back, players leaving, the fans just want to see us play together. How do we get there is to be determined.”

The 15-time major champion didn’t, however, want to talk about the “damage” being done to the game, conceding only there was a “long way to go still”.

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