The LIV golf series has created a ‘very turbulent’ period for the sport

Tiger Woods says the past 12 months have been a “very turbulent” period for golf after the launch of the LIV Golf series threatened the game’s status quo.

The 15-time major champion will return to action at the Genesis Invitational on Thursday where he will square off with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.

Woods, 47, will make his first non-major appearance on the PGA Tour from the Zozo Championship in October 2020, after spending a long time out following the car accident in February 2021 that left him with significant leg injuries .

Meanwhile, LIV Golf launched in June of last year, with many high-profile players fleeing the PGA Tour, creating division and rifts within the sport.

“From last year, if you go back to this week at Genesis last year to where it is now, we all have to say that it is very disturbing,” said Woods. “We never expected the game of golf to be in this situation, but that’s the reality.

“I was referring to trying to create the best product. Obviously, they’re a competitive organization that wants to create the best product they can have, and we’re trying to create the best product that they think we create the future of golf, how it should be played.

“How do we do that? We’re still working on it. We have so many top players that are aligned. We need our best players to understand that we have to play in the world and create the best product possible .

“It’s an ebb and flow, it really is. And it was difficult, there’s no lie. You’ve seen our ambassador, Rory, go through it. It was tough on him, but he was exceptional.

“To be able to go through all that, be with him on all those conference calls and sideline meetings, and for him to go out there and play and win, it was unbelievable.”

The PGA Tour was threatened by LIV Golf, which used eight 54-hole no-cut stroke play tournaments and a final Team Championship in its inaugural season to create an exciting new product with a point difference.

LIV Golf will change to a league format for next season with a schedule of 14 events and 48 contracted players.

Woods, whose foundation organizes the upcoming Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club in California, said the PGA Tour is working on ways to maintain its position as golf’s premier league in competition with LIV Golf’s updated offerings.

“We’re in the process of figuring it all out,” Woods said. “There were a variety of models and different opinions. Trying to figure out what the best product is and the competitive environment. What should we do in the future.

“Limited fields, what is the number? Cuts, yes or no? What is the number? How many players are playing the event? What is the ability to enter the designated events? How is [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay [Monahan] able to sell our product to the various sponsors in general?

“There is so much give and take. It is still going on. It is difficult. A lot of the players were very forthright, which is great. We are trying to help our commissioner to create what he can sell so that we can all benefit from.”

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