‘There’s an alpha in there, and it’s not me’: Players mum on emergency Tiger Woods-led meeting

Tiger Woods flew to the BMW Championship for a meeting with PGA Tour players, but few details have been shared about what was said.

Getty Images

In a scene straight out of a movie and not something you might be accustom to seeing on the PGA Tour — although, boy, the current state of the golf world is unpredictable now — news outlets captured Tiger Woods step off his private plane and into a vehicle to drive to an emergency meeting with fellow Tour players at the BMW Championship on Tuesday.

Woods, flanked by his team and Rickie Fowler, was heading to Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del., for a well-publicized meeting with players, which reportedly was supposed to be a thorough discussion — with Woods there to provide a rallying cry/act as the elder statesman — as the Tour bears down in its fight vs. LIV Golf.

The meeting reportedly lasted for three-plus hours. Asked on Wednesday if Woods took on a leadership role during the session, Rory McIlroy said, “I think it’s pretty apparent that whenever we all get in the room, there’s an alpha in there, and it’s not me.”

But no, it should not come as a surprise that players have been tight-lipped about what took place on Tuesday.

“I’m not obviously going to talk about it very much,” said Justin Thomas. “It was a productive meeting. It’s just something that the players who are involved just want the best for the Tour and want what’s in the best interest. I think it’s just one of those things where we all want what’s best for the players, and we’re working to do that.”

LIV Golf continues to take some of the Tour’s top talent. Open champ Cameron Smith is rumored to be the latest big-name signee, although Smith (who withdrew from this week’s tournament) has yet to confirm any reports.

The Tour has won the latest fight within the battle, though, as last week a judge ruled three LIV players could not compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

patrick reed brandel chamblee
Patrick Reed files defamation lawsuit against Brandel Chamblee, Golf Channel
By: Sean Zak

Woods has played just three times this year and has made it clear he won’t ever play a full schedule again, but his presence still carries significant weight. Thomas said Woods flying in for the meeting — not just entering via Zoom or by phone — proves how passionate he is about the sport and the next generation of golfers. McIlroy called Woods’ presence “impactful.”

“I think it shows how much he cares about the Tour,” McIlroy said. “I think it shows how much he cares about the players that are coming through and are going to be the next generation. Like it or not, they can’t really sell Tiger Woods anymore. The Tour had an easy job for 20 years. They don’t have Tiger — yes, they’ve got a bunch of us and we’re all great players — but we’re not Tiger Woods. We’re moving into a different era, and we just have to think about things a little differently.”

In general, McIlroy said the Tour and players need to do a better job getting the top golfers in the same tournaments more often than what’s happening now. And while he didn’t exactly provide detailed minutes for Tuesday’s meeting, McIlroy said the one thing that came out of the session was purpose.

“All the top players on this Tour are in agreement and alignment of where we should go going forward, and that was awesome,” McIlroy said.

And where should the Tour go?

“I don’t think that’s for a public forum right now,” he said. “I think that’s between the players and between the executives at the Tour to try to sort of manage a way forward.”

For now, the PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf feud continues.

NEWSLETTER

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.