Saudi International event has been facing many controversies since its inception. Many star professional golfers have agreed to attend the event amidst the controversies. However, Tiger Woods chose not to do it despite receiving a huge appearance fee offer.
Saudi International organizers offered $3 million as an appearance fee to Woods. However, the money couldn’t change his decision. Interestingly, Tiger declined the offer way before the controversies regarding the event rose.
Tiger declined to attend the 2019 event, in which Dustin Johnson won, before the human rights violation accusation against the government of Saudi happened.
Why did Tiger Woods decline the offer to attend the Saudi International?
“I just don’t want to go over there,” said Tiger. It is not that the goat hates the middle east; he just didn’t want to travel for that long. He added, “It’s a long way.”
Tiger’s health was okay in 2018. However, he could have thought a long-distance plane journey wouldn’t be a good idea, since he had back problems in the previous years.
Although he chose not to play, Tiger was not against the event at all. He thought that the sport could help heal whatever happened in the country. Even though he has never gone to Saudi, he said that the golf courses in the middle east gradually developed from his experience of playing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Tiger’s golf history in the middle east
Tiger’s debut tournament in Dubai was in 2001. Although it was his sixth European Tour event, he was famous in the middle east because of his successful PGA Tour career. Like always, Tiger created history in the UAE golf world. The first event he ever attended was the only sold-out golf event in the history of UAE golf.
Although he couldn’t win that year, he bagged the Dubai Desert Classic in 2006 and 2008. Although he couldn’t win that year, he bagged the Dubai Desert Classic in 2006 and 2008. Woods’ history with Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship was not good as the Classic. He could only secure a tie for third place in the 2012 Abu Dhabi event, in which Robert Rock and Rory McIlroy won first and second places, respectively.