Tiger Woods has reportedly twice turned down $3 million in appearance fees to play in the Saudi International.
Woods told ESPN's Bob Harig he spurned the offers because "I just don't want to go over there, it's a long way."
Woods' decision comes on the heels of fellow star golfer Phil Mickelson's decision to play in the late-January event.
While Mickelson's taken some heat for opting to play there, reportedly due to the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October, Woods is not among 'Lefty's' critics on the matter.
"I understand the politics behind it," Woods said Tuesday. "But also the game of golf can help heal a lot of that, too. It can help grow it. And also a lot of top players are going to be playing there that particular week.
"It's traditionally not a golf hotbed, the Middle East. But it has grown quite a bit. I remember going to Dubai for my very first time and seeing maybe two or three buildings in the skyline. Now there is a New York City skyline. Again, golf has grown. There were only a few courses when I went to Dubai and now they're everywhere. Same with Abu Dhabi, and maybe eventually in Saudi Arabia."
Mickelson's not alone in being among the sport's top players to attend, as the event's defending champion, Dustin Johnson, will also play.
Article © Fourth Estate - All Rights Reserved.