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Tiger Woods says his legacy and allegiance are with PGA Tour as competing tour talk grows

Tiger Woods spoke at the Hero World Challenge, his first news conference since his Feb. 23 car crash in Los Angeles.Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

NASSAU, Bahamas — Tiger Woods left little room for interpretation when it comes to Greg Norman’s latest attempt at a competing tour or other proposed leagues offering guaranteed riches to players to compete in team formats.

He made his history on the PGA Tour and that was enough for him.

“I’ve decided for myself that I’m supporting the PGA Tour. That’s where my legacy is,” Woods said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have won 82 events on this tour and 15 major championships, and been a part of the World Golf Championships, the start of them and the end of them.”

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Woods has 18 titles in World Golf Championships, which now have only one event on this season’s schedule.

“So I have allegiance to the PGA Tour,” Woods said.

Woods said he disagrees with any comparisons to when Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus helped lead a breakaway from the PGA of America in the late 1960s by creating a division for tournament players to better serve their needs. That became what now is the PGA Tour.

He also praised PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan for getting the tour through the pandemic.

“I think the tour is in great hands,” Woods said. “They’re doing fantastic, and prize money is going up. It’s just not guaranteed money like most sports are. It’s just like tennis, you have to go out there and earn it.”

Tiger Woods said Tuesday he's sticking with the PGA Tour.Doug Mills/NYT

Meanwhile, the PGA Tour still hasn’t granted releases for its members to play in the Saudi International Feb. 3-6. It’s part of the Asian Tour, though not one of the 10 new events Norman plans as part of his LIV Golf Investments, which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

The tournament said it had commitments from 24 players who are PGA Tour members, including defending champion Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Xander Schauffele. The PGA Tour said its regulations allow for a decision on releases to be made up until 30 days before the first round.

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Schauffele confirmed he is playing but did not know the status of his release. He is leaving that up to his management team to sort out.

“Me trying to be my own agent or handle problems off the course ... I realized I try to be good at one thing, and that’s golf,” he said. “I let someone else handle it.”