Woods flew to Wilmington, Delaware, to attend the assembly of prime PGA Tour gamers held earlier than the BMW Championship, regardless of not qualifying for this week’s second FedEx Cup playoff occasion.
“It’s impactful,” McIlroy, a four-time main winner, stated. “I feel it exhibits how a lot he cares in regards to the Tour. I feel it exhibits how a lot he cares in regards to the gamers which are coming by way of and are going to be the subsequent technology.”
Woods returned to motion on the Masters in April after a 17-month absence following a automotive crash in February 2021 wherein he sustained severe leg accidents.
Though McIlroy acknowledged the PGA Tour was “shifting into a special period” as Woods’ profession wanes, he stated that the legendary American remains to be probably the most influential figures in golf.
“He’s the hero that we’ve all regarded as much as and his voice carries additional than anybody else’s within the sport of golf. His function is navigating us to a spot the place all of us assume we must be.”
Woods has lengthy been important of the breakaway LIV Golf collection which is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – and he turned down an offer value roughly $700 to $800 million to hitch it, in line with the tour’s CEO Greg Norman.
Many high-profile gamers have left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf – together with main winners Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka – enticed by the $250million in whole prize cash and an try and reform the PGA Tour.
They’ve confronted criticism from fellow gamers for abandoning golf’s traditions and accepting cash from a rustic which has been condemned by human rights teams.
“I disagree with it [the players’ decision to join LIV Golf],” Woods stated in July earlier than the one hundred and fiftieth Open Championship held in St. Andrews. “I feel that what they’ve finished is that they’ve turned their again on what has allowed them to get to this place.”
In response to the existential risk of LIV Golf, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour – previously the European Tour – have suspended anybody who has joined the breakaway collection, although to date the majors have allowed all golfers who qualify to proceed taking part in in these occasions.
Earlier this month, a US federal choose dominated in favor of the PGA Tour, denying three LIV Golf gamers – Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones – a short lived restraining order permitting them to play within the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Former world No. 1 Justin Thomas additionally paid tribute to Woods’ function within the “productive” assembly, which reportedly lasted for three-and-a-half hours.
“It’s enormous. If somebody like [Woods] is enthusiastic about it, no offense to all of us, that’s actually all that issues,” Thomas stated in his press convention earlier than the BMW Championship.
“If he’s not behind one thing then it’s most likely not a good suggestion by way of the betterment of the sport, but it surely’s simply not going to work.”
Each Thomas and McIlroy have been reluctant to reveal the small print of the gamers’ assembly however steered that an understanding had been reached.
“All the highest gamers are in settlement, in alignment about the place we must always go going ahead,” McIlroy stated. “And that was superior.
“We have to get the highest guys collectively extra typically than we do … I’m speaking about all in the identical tournaments, all in the identical weeks.”