Tiger Woods said on Tuesday he has decided to withdraw from next week’s US Open outside Boston, citing a need for more time to get his body ready for major championship golf.
Woods returned to competition at the Masters in April, 14 months after nearly losing his right leg in a car crash, then played in last month’s PGA Championship where he withdrew in pain after posting a nine-over-par 79 in the third round.
Players join rival tour, put aside ‘reprehensible’ Saudi moves
Graeme McDowell accepts it is “incredibly polarizing” to join the Saudi-funded rebel golf tour. He even offered a reason why.
“Take the Khashoggi situation,” he said. “We all agree that’s reprehensible. Nobody is going to argue that fact.”
The Northern Irish golfer was referencing the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. US intelligence services said they believe the killing of the US-based Saudi journalist came at the orders of the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who heads the Public Investment Fund. The prince denies doing wrong.
The Saudi sovereign wealth fund is providing the hundreds of millions of dollars in sign-on fees and prize money that is enticing players away from the established tours and jeopardizing their participation in the majors and Ryder Cup.
The tour is the latest branch of Saudi Arabia’s attempt to reposition itself as a backer of lavish sports events rather than one associated with human rights abuses, which rights groups call ‘sportswashing.’