Rickie Fowler joins Tiger Woods at player meeting after rejecting LIV Golf offer

·3 min read
Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler walk to the 11th green during the second round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course - Adam Hagy-USA TODAY
Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler walk to the 11th green during the second round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course - Adam Hagy-USA TODAY

Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler headed to the BMW Championship in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday to attend a player meeting regarding the LIV Golf Invitational Series and its threat to the PGA Tour.

As first reported by Fire Pit Collective and ESPN late on Monday night, Woods was expected to "rally support around the PGA Tour" among the top players in the world who haven't already defected to LIV.

ESPN reported many of the top 20 players in the world and other influential PGA Tour members were in attendance. The conference lasted three-and-a-half hours, ESPN reported.

"It was about all the top players getting on the same page," an unnamed player who was at the gathering told ESPN. "It was a good meeting."

It group apparently included Fowler, who was seen leaving a plane at a Philadelphia airport with Woods and getting into a car with him to make the rest of the trip to Delaware.

A longtime fan favourite and sponsor magnet, Fowler has not won on tour since February 2019 and has fallen to No 173 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He is not competing at the BMW Championship this week because he failed to qualify for the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs during last week's playoff opener, the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Fowler has long been linked to LIV, and he confirmed the Saudi-financed circuit made him a large offer to make the jump. But in an interview published by Golfweek on Monday, Fowler indicated a willingness to stay with the PGA Tour despite its shortcomings.

"The Tour has been the best place to play, currently is and I'd like to see it continue to be," Fowler said. "But you can't expect to stay the same and be the best all the time, if that makes sense."

World No 4 Patrick Cantlay and world No 5 Jon Rahm of Spain were asked about the upcoming player meeting with Woods at their pre-tournament press conferences Tuesday.

"I've heard Tiger is the new commissioner, right? That's what everyone has been saying," Cantlay cracked. "I'm going to go to the meeting. I'm going to listen to what it's all about, and I'll probably have more for you after."

Rahm added that "news can be wrong sometimes" but confirmed there was a meeting, as well as a Player Advisory Council meeting. Actual PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is scheduled to meet with members Wednesday. Monahan reportedly was not invited to the player meeting Tuesday.

Woods held similar talks with some top players last month at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland, per reports, and wanted to keep the dialogue going on a wider scale as an ambassador for the tour.