Tiger Woods was offered a spot to play in the European Tour’s inaugural event in Saudi Arabia for 2019, but despite an offer of nearly $3.275 million as an appearance fee, Woods declined the proposal. Woods hasn’t played an overseas event (excluding the recent British Open) since withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic in 2017.
Since surgery Woods has made it clear that his trips overseas would be rare, for the sake of protecting his health. Given the political climate in Saudi Arabia, which saw Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi killed in the Saudi Arabia Embassy in Istanbul last month, this may be another factor leading to Woods declining the offer.
Keith Pelley, the European Tour’s chief executive had this to say: “Saudi International is on our schedule and we’ll continue to monitor just like we would do with every other country. We have heard some of the criticism of the region. Obviously freedom of speech is far more available now based on social media. We’ve listened and we will continue to monitor the situation.”
Woods or any of his agents are yet to respond to the decline to state whether it is political, schedule-based or health concerns that have lead to him missing the tournament.