Antelope Valley Press

Tiger is wearing many hats at Riviera

- By DOUG FERGUSON

LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods is wearing a lot of hats at the Genesis Invitation­al — one of them featuring a new logo — without a lot of clarity on the state of his game or the future of the PGA Tour.

Woods joined the PGA Tour board last summer and has been involved in negotiatio­ns that led to Strategic Sports Group becoming a minority investor in a deal worth as much as $3 billion. Still unclear is where that leaves the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, the financial backer of LIV Golf.

“Ultimately we would like to have PIF be a part of our tour and a part of our product,” Woods said Wednesday at Riviera. “Financiall­y, we don’t right now. And the monies that they have come to the table with, and what we initially had agreed to in the framework agreement, those are all the same numbers. Anything beyond this is going to be obviously over and above.”

As for his game, Woods said his speed is not the same with a 48-year-old body that includes a fused lower spine and a fused right ankle.

“I built this golf swing the last few years ... based on my hands and what that feels like,” he said. “What that looks like, sometimes it doesn’t look pretty, but I can still hit the ball flush.”

That hasn’t translated at Riviera, the course he has played the most times as a pro (12) without winning. The short answer on why is that he’s never putted well here.

But he was clear when it came to launching his new “Sun Day Red” brand with TaylorMade Golf after 27 years with Nike. Asked what would become of his “TW” logo from Nike that he often wore on the front of his cap and back of his shirt, Woods said he doesn’t get that back.

“I don’t want it back. I’ve moved on,” he said. “This is a transition in my life. I’ve moved on to ‘Sun Day Red’ and we’re looking forward to building a brand that elicits excitement.”

The other hat — host of the Genesis Invitation­al — requires little commentary. Riviera has been one of the premier stops on the PGA Tour for 60 years, and now it is a signature event that offers a $20 million purse.

The player-hosted events — Riviera, the Arnold Palmer Invitation­al and Memorial — award $4 million to the winner (compared with $3.6 million for other signature events), though it also comes with a 36-hole cut to the top 50 and ties, and anyone within 10 shots of the lead.

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