Rory McIlroy


How LIV Golf Is Tearing The Sport Apart, In 3 Charts

It seems you can’t go a week without players from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf sniping at each other in the press. The most recent edition featured maybe the two biggest principals in golf’s civil war — Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy — going at it over which tour represents the future of the game. And that very argument has been at the heart of the battle tearing professional golf apart ever since the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit hit the scene earlier this year.

From debates over the ethics of helping LIV Golf “sportswash” the Saudi royal family’s human-rights violations1 to questions about which pro golfers LIV Golf has afforded greater financial leverage to, it’s not melodramatic to frame the PGA Tour-versus-LIV Golf battle as a fight for the soul of the sport itself. But how did we get to the point of a major sport being ripped in two directions, within the span of a little less than a year?

One of the big reasons why the meteoric rise of LIV Golf has created such a huge rift in the sport is simply the magnitude of the names the upstart tour has poached in such a short period of time. When Mickelson became the first golfer to publicly entertain the notion of defecting from the PGA Tour — in comments made to journalist Alan Shipnuck, first published in February — he ranked among the top 100 players in the world (and was the defending PGA Champion), but he was largely out on an island as a then-51-year-old whose prime days were probably well behind him. In the time since, however, LIV Golf has managed to significantly upgrade its roster: Forty-four of the top 150 players in the world as of June 112 have departed for the rebel tour:


That group includes 2022 British Open champion Cameron Smith, who defected for LIV Golf in August. While a majority of top golfers still play in the PGA Tour and/or affiliated organizations, the fact that nearly a third have jumped ship helps explain the shockwaves LIV Golf has set off within the golf world.

And if you want to know why they left … well, it’s all about the money. (When is it ever not?) We compared per-tournament PGA Tour and LIV Golf earnings for players who went from the former in 2020-21 — the last full PGA Tour season without LIV Golf as a competitor — to the latter in 2022, and the differences for most players ranged from a modest raise under LIV Golf to an astronomical increase in money for any given event:

Players who have left the PGA Tour earn more per event with LIV
Average individual earnings per tournament for players who competed in the PGA Tour in 2020-2021, compared with earnings while playing for LIV in 2022A dot plot shows the difference in players’ winnings per event between PGA Tour events in the 2020-21 season versus LIV events in 2022. Cameron Smith leads the chart with less than $500k at PGA Tour events and has made more than $2.5 milllion playing for LIV.
Dustin Johnson
Cameron Smith
Joaquin Niemann
Branden Grace
Charl Schwartzel
Patrick Reed
Brooks Koepka
Anirban Lahiri
Carlos Ortiz
Matthew Wolff
Sergio Garcia
Paul Casey
Talor Gooch
Lee Westwood
Harold Varner III
Abraham Ancer
Louis Oosthuizen
Ian Poulter
Kevin Na
Matt Jones
Cameron Tringale
Phil Mickelson
Marc Leishman
Hudson Swafford
Jason Kokrak
Bryson DeChambeau
PGA avg earnings|LIV avg earnings|
Excludes players who didn’t earn any money in the PGA Tour in 2020-21. Dustin Johnson won the LIV individual title, worth an additional $18 million, which is not included here.

For some golfers, like Smith, this at least partially reflects the benefits of a well-timed career year. (Smith had nearly doubled his previous career-high earnings in a PGA Tour season even before moving to LIV Golf.) Some of LIV Golf’s higher per-event payout is also a function of having more money going to fewer events — there have been seven since June 11, compared with 19 for the PGA Tour — though most top players only play a fraction of the total events on the calendar anyway.3 But it’s mainly a testament to just how much money the Saudi government has spent to lure elite golfers away from the PGA Tour’s sphere of influence. According to The Athletic, $2 billion of the country’s $620 billion Public Investment Fund has been earmarked for spending on the startup golf tour — and that money has done its share of talking so far.

In fact, another way we can see the effect of LIV Golf’s presence on the pro golf industry is in how the PGA Tour has reacted to those defections. At various points in the summer and fall, commissioner Jay Monahan announced that the Tour would be working with players to boost the prize money for multiple events on the calendar for future seasons — clearly in an effort to retain players mulling the idea of hopping to LIV Golf.


In response to the response, LIV Golf also announced increased prize pools for its events, sparking what many have called an arms race between the two competing tours. The increased pressure to acquire and retain talent might be good for high-level players in the short run, but it’s still unclear where the increasingly bitter fight between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf will ultimately leave the sport.

A successful LIV Golf tour will do nothing to discourage the types of human-rights abuses that critics say the Saudi government is using golf to obscure. Meanwhile, if top players continue to defect in larger numbers, LIV Golf may become an even less viable option for the middle and lower class of players, whose status on the Tour is actually the most tenuous.4 (Plus, the younger players who join LIV Golf directly out of the amateur ranks could find themselves never being eligible for the PGA Tour.) And although there are historical cases of rival leagues forcing mergers and elevating the established organizations they once competed with, there are also counterexamples in which a split left its sport in tatters.

Which outcome will golf find itself in when the smoke clears on this battle? Only time will tell.

Rory McIlroy rubbishes Phil Mickelson’s ‘LIV propaganda’ after golf legend claimed PGA Tour was ‘trending downwards’

RORY McILROY dismissed Phil Mickelson’s suggestion that the PGA Tour was ‘trending downwards’ as ‘LIV propaganda’.

Mickelson, who joined the Saudi-backed league in a deal worth up to €200 million, boasted that he was ‘on the winning side’.

He said: “I think that for a long, long time, my 30 years on the PGA Tour, pretty much all the best players played on the PGA Tour, at least for the last 20 years.

“That will never be the case again.

The 44-year-old continued: “And I see LIV Golf trending upwards, I see the PGA Tour trending downwards and I love the side that I’m on.

“I love how I’m reinvigorated and excited to play golf and compete. I love the experience. I love the way they treat us.

“I love the way they involve us and listen to us in decisions. I mean it’s so inclusive, it’s so fluid that things, LIV Golf is leading.”

This is a claim that was refuted by McIlroy, speaking ahead of the CJ Cup, in which 15 of the top 20 players in the world are competing.

The Holywood man said: “I don’t agree with what Phil said.

“I understand why he said it because of the position he is in, but I don’t think anyone with a logical view can agree with it.

“I love the way they involve us and listen to us in decisions. I mean it’s so inclusive, it’s so fluid that things, LIV Golf is leading.”

This is a claim that was refuted by McIlroy, speaking ahead of the CJ Cup, in which 15 of the top 20 players in the world are competing.

The Holywood man said: “I don’t agree with what Phil said.

“I understand why he said it because of the position he is in, but I don’t think anyone with a logical view can agree with it.

Justin Thomas spoke about his current world ranking before the CJ Cup and how a recent phone call from Tiger Woods initially confused him.

Justin Thomas appears to still be upset with his current world ranking as he prepares to make his season debut on the PGA Tour at the CJ Cup as he revealed a recent phone call from Tiger Woods initially baffled him.

Thomas, 29, is a two-time winner of this event and he will be making his 200th start on the circuit at Congaree Golf Club on Thursday.

Speaking to the media shortly after Rory McIlroy pushed back on Phil Mickelson’s comments and Tom Kim gate-crashed the press conference, Thomas conceded that he still “doesn’t appreciate” his current position as No. 8 in the world.

Thomas, who claimed his second major earlier in the summer at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, was asked his about his motivation this season especially at this time of year.

It’s been a frantic few months with the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the Presidents Cup and he is due to marry Jillian Wisniewski soon. Rickie Fowler, who Butch Harmon thinks will return to top form once again, will be one of his groomsmen.

So what is his expectation?

“To play well,” Thomas told the media. “I mean, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know if — irritated is not the right word. I guess you could just say hungry.

“I feel like I have a lot of guys ahead of me in the world rankings and it’s not that I don’t appreciate it, but I would rather them not be there. It’s nothing on them, but it’s more of a me problem than it is a them problem.

“Like I said, I just, I’m very hungry to start winning more golf tournaments. I felt for the majority of the year last year I played some really solid consistent golf, but I just didn’t win enough.”

He continued: “You have to win more to be at the top of the rankings and I just didn’t do that. [I] just need to practice more and keep hammering it, and I think that’s something to try to get off to a good start for the season this week.”

Thomas also took the time to praise Freddie Couples who beat his age on the PGA Tour Champions last week with a 12-under 60 to claim the SAS Championship. It was his first win in five years.

Apparently, Thomas was watching NFL when Tiger Woods rang him as Couples was going crazy low.

“Yeah, yeah, I was following a little bit and then was watching the — that Chiefs-Bills game was on and like I schedule my whole day of practice around it because I couldn’t wait to watch it.

“I think he was on 17 or 18 and Tiger called me and he’s like, ‘Are you watching this?’

“I’m like, ‘Yeah, pretty good game.’ He’s like, ‘No, Freddie’s 11 under and he’s playing 18.’

“[The] last I looked he was like 9 or 10 under, he was winning by a million. No offense to Fred, love him to death, but he was going to win. I was more interested in watching the football game.

“So I turned it on and watched him stripe it off 18 tee, stiff an iron shot and make the putt.

“[I] talked to him some after. He jokes this is the best putting week of his life. We kept saying to him, you keep playing like that, you’ll be just fine at the Masters next year, you’ll be able to start playing Tour events again.

“No, he’s the best. He’s so fun to be around and just joke with. I was — I mean, it’s pretty cool to do what he did at what, 63 years old? I should say 63 years young. We’re all happy for him.”

Next, the 15-time Major Championship winner was heard admitting his moments of struggle.

W: “The one time I had a hard time with was the one on the back nine, like the 12th hole? The uphill.”

M: “But then the green is sort of…” [makes hand motions that Woods understood].

W: “Uphill but altitude, you don’t know how far it can go.”

M: “I always think because I hit the ball quite high the uphills don’t play as long for me. They never have. You know?”

W: “Yup.”

If anything is to be derived, it looks like McIlroy just wanted to boast about his mastery at uphill courses. Didn’t he realize that the person on the other side of the conversation has the joint-highest wins on the PGA Tour?

Yet, the two remain good friends and have come together to fuel the PGA Tour’s acclaim by raising voices against the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series. The pair also founded their own new series in collaboration with the PGA, which you can read about

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have shared a close friendship since the latter arrived on the PGA Tour in the early 2010s. The pair interact on a regular basis, be it on the golf course or over promotional shoots. The two chat quite a lot while walking between holes. A similar incident occurred at the MGM Resorts The Challenge: Japan Skins in 2019. A lot was talked about, and fortunately, the mics were in a position to capture the conversation.

The 2019 unofficial event was played at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Japan, which later hosted the first PGA Tour event in the country. The Japan Skins challenge was a made-for-television event, with participation restricted to only four superstar golfers.

Among those were victors of 19 Major Championships between them, namely Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. The two shared a walk together during the event, where they discussed the challenges of playing golf at a high altitude, which the latter declared was a cakewalk. Here’s every word of the conversation.

McIlroy: “I’ve always played well at altitude, like always… Switzerland, South Africa, there. I’ve have always played well.”

Woods: “Oh man, it’s just so complicated.”

McIlroy: “You’ve just got to trust it. It’s completely about trust.”

Woods: “I know. It’s just so hard though.”

McIlroy and Woods then had a lengthy conversation on a particular hole, which they found to be challenging.

M: “What’s that par three on the front nine that’s like 245? Is it like the seventh hole?”

W: “The one slightly uphill?”

M: “No, it’s downhill, over the water.”

W: “Oh that one. Exactly. With the tree?”

M: “Yeah, so you’re 245 and you’ve got seven iron in your hand. You’re like how? It’s so hard to trust it’s going to go that distance.”

The 15-time Major winner will tee it up at Adare Manor, before heading to the 150th Open at St Andrews

Having missed the US Open at Brookline, Tiger Woods’ team have reportedly confirmed he will be teeing it up at the JP McManus Pro-Am on the 4th and 5th July, before heading to St Andrews and the 150th Open Championship.

Back in April, it was revealed that the 15-time Major winner would be teeing it up at Adare Manor, venue of the 2027 Ryder Cup, with the appearance being his fourth in the event.

Having played in the Pro-Am a number of times, Tiger will be using the tournament as preparation for the Open Championship at the Old Course, a venue which he has described as “his favourite course in the world.”

The JP McManus Pro-Am is set to have a stacked field for the two-day event, with Major winners Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau just some of the big names attending.

Along with the above, Leona Maguire is also set to feature, with Hollywood stars Mark Wahlberg and Bill Murray, golf fanatic Niall Horan, six-time Major winner, Nick Faldo and father-son duo, Harry and Jamie Redknapp, taking part in the event.

The biggest talking point though will be the presence of Tiger, as the 46-year-old makes his return to competitive action having withdrawn from the PGA Championship in May.

During his third round, the 15-time Major winner had been visibly struggling as he stuttered to a closing 79 on Saturday. The PGA Championship had been the second tournament Tiger played in following his serious car crash some 15 months prior and, after the conclusion of his third round, it was revealed that he wouldn’t be featuring on the final day at Brookline.

Now though, it has been reportedly revealed that he will be playing at Adare Manor, one of the best courses in Ireland, before teeing it up at the Home of Golf. Tiger has claimed the Claret Jug twice at St Andrews, with the course suiting his current circumstances as it is a flat layout that will help his right leg.

Some other predominant, any other danger for one participant to make records with the aid of triumphing the us Open to finish a career grand slam.

The tries of Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth to enroll in golfing’s maximum distinct club, on the Masters and US PGA respectively, had been relatively overshadowed by the presence of Tiger Woods – but with a purpose to not be the case at Brookline.

Woods withdrew from the year’s third major in order to give his battered body more time to heal for the final one, the 150th Open Championship on the Old Course at St Andrews, site of two of his three Open triumphs.

It was the right decision considering the way he struggled through a third round of 79 in the US PGA at Southern Hills, his highest ever score in the event, but leaves the way clear for his former rival, a certain Philip Alfred Mickelson, to take centre stage for the second week running.

Tiger Woods

Mickelson ended his exile from the game by accepting a reported US 200 million (£159.5m) to compete in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, starting with the opener at Centurion Club in Hertfordshire.

The six-time major winner had not been seen since February, missing the Masters and his title defence in the US PGA, following the fallout from his explosive comments about Saudi Arabia and the PGA Tour.

Mickelson described the Saudis as “scary m************” with a “horrible record on human rights”, including the murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, in an interview with the author of an unauthorised biography.

Yet he added that working with the Saudis was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to reshape how the PGA Tour operates, an organisation he also accused of “obnoxious greed”.

The 51-year-old’s lengthy absence led to speculation that he had been suspended, something he refused to confirm or deny in a press conference at Centurion which came the day after the USGA said it would not prevent LIV Golf players from contesting the US Open.

That, of course, is the championship Mickelson needs to win to join Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen in having claimed all four major titles, a feat which looked beyond him until last year’s victory in the US PGA Championship.

Mickelson’s triumph at Kiawah Island, just days away from his 51st birthday, made him the oldest winner of any men’s major in history and also negated the need for the special exemption into the following month’s US Open which he had accepted weeks earlier.

A tie for 62nd at Torrey Pines continued his recent run of poor results however, the left-hander failing to record a single top-25 finish in the US Open since he was runner-up for a record sixth time at Merion in 2013.

The chances of finally winning his national Open therefore look slim, Mickelson heading to Brookline with just three competitive rounds under his belt since February, although he made it clear he had not been banned or asked to stay away from the US PGA at Southern Hills.

“It was made clear to me through extensive conversations that I was able to play if I wanted to,” he said. “I wasn’t ready to play and compete. I hadn’t practiced. I had played a couple of rounds but I wasn’t sharp.

“And just like the Masters, I certainly enjoyed watching it. I missed being there, but I didn’t have a desire to be there.”

Asked how he thought fans might react to him winning the US Open now, Mickelson joked: “I don’t know how others will receive it, but I would be quite favourable with it.”

Tiger Woods made the cut Friday at the PGA Championship, though he kept it close, shooting a one-under 69 to move to three over for the tournament.

Woods was simply combating through pain thru the whole lot of the round, but he still has a intention in mind.

“there may be a undertaking,” he instructed ESPN’s Michael Eaves after the second spherical (h/t Jason Sobel of the action network). “The assignment is to move ahead and win this element one way or the other.”

Woods additionally informed Eaves he could not load up on his proper leg, similar to Thursday whilst the star golfer began to noticeably limp about halfway thru the round.

“There’s a lot of things [I can’t do],” he said. “That’s just the way it is. Luckily over the course of my career, I’ve used my hands quite well and gotta rely on feel and hit shots. When you’re out there, you know, it’s about hitting the ball the right number and getting it done. It wasn’t exactly the way I wanted it to be, it wasn’t pretty.”

It was similar to what he said after the first round.

“I just can’t load it,” he told reporters. “Loading hurts, pressing off it hurts, walking hurts and twisting hurts. It’s just golf. I don’t play that, if I don’t do that, then I’m all right.”

Unlike Thursday, however—when Woods shot a four-over 74 and had five bogeys and just one birdie on the back nine—the veteran golfer fought through the pain to shoot under par Friday.

Even Rory McIlroy was impressed by his resolve:

Tiger Woods

As for Woods winning in Tulsa, well, that’s a long shot. He would have to make up a double-digit stroke deficit to catch current leader Will Zalatoris, which seems unlikely given Woods’ physical limitations.

But the fight is still there. That’s plenty impressive enough.

Will Zalatoris presently holds a one-shot lead at 9-beneath par after shooting a sixty five on Friday at Southern Hills.

Now we look forward to Saturday’s zero.33 round, which abilties masses of prop angles to assault on PrizePicks.

Under, I provide out my 4 spherical three PrizePicks flex performs for the 2022 PGA Championship. For the ones sudden with PrizePicks flex plays in golfing, one-of-a-type combos of overs and unders generate wonderful payouts.

The usage of the four plays under, getting 4-of-4 correct registers a 5x payout, whilst three-of-four accurate registers a 1.5x payout.

PGA Championship Round 3 PrizePicks Plays
Justin Thomas: Round 3 Under 70.5 Strokes
Thomas currently sits in third place at 8-under par after shooting a 67 on Friday. JT has now shot a 67 in each of the first two rounds, and while regression may strike on Saturday, I think four strokes is too much of an adjustment.

I mentioned in my article earlier this week that SG Tee to Green and SG Approach the Green would be two important metrics to keep an eye on for this tournament. JT certainly fits that mold, as he currently ranks 10th amongst the field in both SG Tee to Green and SG Approach the Green.

This season, JT ranks third on TOUR in SG Tee to Green and fifth in SG Approach the Green. With plenty of major championship experience, I am not worried about JT facing more pressure on the weekend.

I would play this number down to 70.

Cameron Smith: Round 3 Under 9 Fairways Hit
Smith is currently tied for 10th place at 2-under par after shooting a 70 on Friday. While Smith is one of the sharpest players in the sport, his driving game is by far the aspect that needs the most improvement.

On TOUR this season, Smith ranks just 143rd in SG Off the Tee and 150th in Driving Accuracy. While Smith hit 11-of-14 fairways in Round 1, he regressed back to the mean in Round 2, as he hit just eight fairways.

Based on his stats this season, I think it is more likely that Smith has a similar performance with his driver to Round 2 rather than Round 1. The total sitting at 9 is an overreaction to Thursday’s outing.

I would not play this total at anything lower than 9.

Tiger Woods: Round 3 Over 74 Strokes
Woods is currently tied for 53rd place at 3-over par after shooting a 69 on Friday to make the cut. While everyone — including me — is rooting for Tiger and is ecstatic that he made the cut, this is a number that should be taken.

Overcoming all of the hurdles that it took to just partake in this tournament, it is already a victory for Tiger just to compete. That being said, we saw the same story play out at the Masters when Tiger battled to make the cut and then fell apart during the weekend.

I expect a similar storyline at Southern Hills, as fatigue will probably catch up to Tiger, someone who has been laboring just to walk 18 holes. After making the cut at Augusta, Tiger shot a 78 in each of the weekend rounds.

I would not play this number at anything higher than 74.

Rory McIlroy: Round 3 Over 71 Strokes
McIlroy is currently tied for fifth place at 4-under par after leading the field before the start of Round 2. Shooting a 71 on Friday, I expect a similar performance on Saturday.

In this tournament, McIlroy ranks just 55th in SG Approach the Green, and that shaky iron/wedge play could come back to bite him during the weekend. We have seen this story play out this season, as McIlroy ranks just 66th on TOUR in SG Approach the Green.

I would not play this total if it moves above 71.

Tiger Woods finished the day in a tie for 91st region.

At the ninth hollow of the primary round, Tiger Woods slammed his golfing club into the floor in frustration.

Afterward, he walked up to the inexperienced with a more mentioned limp than were seen earlier inside the day and sooner or later completed the hollow with a bogey, kicking off a run of three consecutive bogeys.
As he maintains his comeback from critical leg accidents sustained in a vehicle accident ultimate 12 months, Woods struggled within the establishing round of the PGA Championship carding a 74, 9 strokes behind in a single day chief Rory McIlroy.

“My leg is not feeling as good as I would like it to be,” Woods told the media afterwards.

The PGA Championship marks Woods’ second major tournament since his injury after he made a surprise appearance at The Masters last month.
“We’ll start the recovery process and get after it tomorrow. I just can’t load it. Loading hurts, pressing off it hurts, walking hurts and twisting hurts. It’s just golf. If I don’t play that, then I’m all right.”
Woods’ round began brightly with two birdies and three pars in the opening five holes before his leg began to trouble him and he limped to 4-over par at the end of the day.
In his last 13 holes, he only hit three greens, made six bogeys and consistently misjudged his bunker shots.

“All the bunker shots sort of came out hot,” Woods said. “The sand is a lot faster than I thought it would be.”
“Kind of been that way all week, especially if you get up in the areas where it’s not raked… I feel like sometimes the sand — I’m guessing, and I guessed wrong.”

Woods hit a total of three birdies, eight pars and seven bogeys in his opening round.
Woods seemed to arrive at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa with a relatively conservative strategy, choosing to iron off the tee while the other players in his star-studded group — McIlroy and Jordan Speith — hit with drivers.
While McIlroy averaged 331 yards off the tee, Woods averaged just 293.4 yards — the 136th shortest distance in a field of 156.
“The game is just different,” Woods said. “It’s much more aggressive now, and I know that. But I was playing to my spots. If I would have hit the ball solidly on those two holes and put the ball in the fairway, I would have been fine.”
Woods tees off for the second round at 2:36 p.m. ET on Friday.

Tiger Woods continue his recovery from intense leg injuries at subsequent week’s PGA Championship after making a sensational go back at final month’s Masters with masses of interest over the country of his game.

The 15-time main champion practiced remaining month at Southern Hills and excited fanatics wish he can enhance on his 47th-area end at Augusta country wide, in which Woods referred to as finishing 72 holes amongst his finest profession achievements.

“a number of the gamers who’re near me have seen it and have visible some of the things I’ve had to bear,” Woods stated remaining month. “it has been a tough road and one that I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity in order to grind thru.

“I suppose it was a advantageous and i’ve were given a few paintings to do and looking forward to it.”

Woods, a former world number one now ranked 804th, won the 2007 PGA Championship at Southern Hills and returns to the Tulsa, Oklahoma, layout 15 months after a severe car crash that so badly damaged his right leg that he feared it might have to be amputated.

“To go from that to here, we’re excited about the prospects of the future, about training, about getting into that gym and doing some other stuff to get my leg stronger,” Woods said after his final round at the Masters last month.

“We’ll get back after it.”

Woods, 46, fired a 63 in the second round in 2007 at Southern Hills on his way to the title and came back a few weeks ago to see what changes a course renovation had brought since walking a course for four days has become a major stamina test.

“It caused quite a buzz even before he landed,” Southern Hills golf director Cary Cozby told The Golf Channel. “He left here looking like Elvis heading off the stage.”

Southern Hills underwent a major renovation in 2019 with bunkers reshaped and many trees removed.

“He remembered all of the golf course, every club he hit it seemed,” Cozby said. “He seemed to enjoy the changes.”

Augusta National offered one of the tougher walks of any season but Southern Hills has only a couple of major climbs, which should be an easier test as Woods looks to the British Open at St. Andrews in July.

“I have those days where I just don’t want to do anything. It just hurts. It’s those days that are tough,” Woods admitted at Augusta.

“I just have to work through it. In order to get better, you just have to go out there and put in the time.”

Woods had battled through nagging back and knee injuries to win the 2019 Masters for his first major victory in 11 years, only to be faced with his latest setback after a California automobile accident in February 2021.

Players and spectators applauded Woods, a 2022 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee, in his comeback effort at the Masters.

“We all have to thank Tiger for where the game is,” four-time major winner Rory McIlroy said.

“Tiger has left more of a mark on this game, I think than anyone else basically in history. We should all be very fortunate that we played at a time that he was around because we’ve all benefited from him.”