Woods defends Mickelson's Saudi choice

Tiger Woods says he has turned down offers to play in the Saudi International event

Tiger Woods says he has turned down offers to play in the Saudi International event More

Woods also spoke out about the controversy that has erupted since Phil Mickelson announced Monday he is the latest golfer to accept an invitation to the Saudi International, a tournament in Saudi Arabia that typically pays the world's top golfers seven-figure appearance fees. "It's a long way".

Woods declined a spot in the 2019 event won by Dustin Johnson before the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in September 2018. The Washington Post writer, who was living in the United States at the time and had been critical of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkish officials said. After the tournament, Woods will head to Australia to both captain and play for the United States in the Presidents Cup beginning December 12. I remember going to Dubai for my very first time and seeing, what, maybe two, three buildings on the skyline when you tee off on No 8.

Meanwhile, the tournament chairman of the Waste Management Phoenix Open said he was disappointed by Mickelson's decision to play in Saudi Arabia the same week as the PGA Tour event he has played the last 29 years and won twice.

Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry, and Henrik Stenson have also committed to the Saudi International. Mickelson's recent commitment was especially scrutinized, and while Lefty opted to defend his decision on Twitter, Woods was asked by reporters Tuesday at the Hero World Challenge for his view on the situation. The 49-year-old said his critics will "be OK" and added: "After turning down opportunities to go to the Middle East for many years, I'm excited to go play and see a place in the world I've never been". It can help grow it [the game].and also a lot of top players are going to be playing there.

"Having so many talented players on show also made it look like a much more established tournament than one in its inaugural year".

"I'm able to make moves that I haven't for quite some time", he told his site.

"I understand the politics behind it", Woods said at a news conference. But it has grown quite a bit. "There's only been a few courses when I first went to Dubai, now they're everywhere; same with Abu Dhabi and maybe eventually in Saudi Arabia".

Mickelson said in a statement released by tournament organizers that he watched Johnson win a year ago and thought the course looked like an interesting challenge, along with mentioning how it could help grow golf in the region.

Golfing superstar Tiger Woods has again refused a multi-million-dollar offer to appear at a controversial tournament in Saudi Arabia in January 2020. "Now there's a New York City skyline back there".

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