Woods defends Mickelson’s choice to play in Saudi Arabia
FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019 file photo, Tiger Woods hits from a sand trap on the fourth hole during the first round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. Woods is in the Bahamas this week as a player and a host, and in Australia next week as a player and Presidents Cup captain. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Tiger Woods is defending Phil Mickelson and other top players who have signed up for the second edition of the Saudi International.
The European Tour, and the players who took part, came under scrutiny last year for staging an event in Saudi Arabia because of its human rights record, especially with the tournament taking place three months after the killing of journalist Jamal Kashoggi.
Dustin Johnson won the inaugural event and returns this year along with Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, and European stars Henrik Stenson, Shane Lowry and Sergio Garcia.
Woods and Rory McIlroy are among those not playing.
“I understand the politics behind it,” Woods said Tuesday. “But the game of golf can actually help heal all that, too. It can help grow that. There are also a lot of other top players that are going to be playing that particular week. It's traditionally not a golf hotbed in the Middle East, but it has grown quite a bit.”
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