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19th Hole

Controversial ESPN host says he’s ‘disgusted’ by Tiger Woods in unpopular rant

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On Tuesday, a closed meeting amongst several of the golf hierarchy, all assembled for a PGA Tour player meeting including none other than Tiger Woods.

ESPN’s divisive host Stephen A. Smith isn’t happy about it, though.

On Tuesday’s edition of First Take, the outspoken presenter made it clear that, in his opinion, it is disgusting that Tiger Woods is putting his considerable might behind the PGA Tour in the ‘battle’ against LIV.

Smith ranted:

“I’m disgusted by it. Let me explain why. The United States government, their number two trade partner, from what I’ve read, is Saudi Arabia. a host of U.S. corporations, and I apologize, I just googled it, I just looked it up just now. If I’m wrong about anybody, please forgive me, General Electric, AT&T, Bank of America, Halliburton Company, Pfizer International. A whole bunch of people. If I’m wrong, I apologize, it was online. Talk about these major corporations doing business. I don’t know. I just said it was online, so I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say U.S. corporations doing big business with Saudi Arabia and suddenly individuals are looking to get paid and everybody is in an uproar?”

Hinting at anti-competition regulations, the presenter continued:

“I thought this was America. I thought we were a capitalistic society. I thought competition breeds our greatness. That’s what I thought. Tiger Woods is sitting there acting like the PGA should be the only game in town. When do we say that? Now granted, if you’re the only game in town, you’re the only game in town. We see it in USFL and we see Arena Football but we know it’s the NFL and then everybody else. You can have the G League and college basketball, but we know it’s the NBA and everybody else.

“You got Major League Baseball, we understand that you can have those things, but the chances of you usurping them and eclipsing them are slim to none. They are established brands in the United States of America that garner the support of millions and as a result that’s what we gonna flow with. I’m good with that. That’s America. You establish your level of dominance to the point that it don’t matter what some competition is going to do, cool. This is different.”

Smith then puts the 15-time major winner in the spotlight:

“You got Tiger Woods supporting, feeling like players betrayed the PGA. What do you owe the PGA? Show the PGA, you work, you produce, you go out there and you earn your money,” he said. “They don’t pay everybody. Winners get paid. Losers don’t necessarily get paid. I don’t know all the particulars … and I’m not pretending to. I’m addressing principle, meaning American principle.”

“Now I’m a Black man first forever and always and very, very proud of it,” continued Smith. “But I am a proud American citizen and I do believe in the American system when it talks about capitalism, when it talks about meritocracy and handling your business and handling your own and may the best man and woman win. So if you better than LIV, be better!”

Referring to the feelings presented by the families of the victims of the 9/11 tragedy, Smith said:

“…the intensity you exercise toward golfers who want to compete under the LIV umbrella, we do the same thing to the government and the corporations. If you ain’t doing it for them, don’t do it to the individual players.”

Reaction to the speech, transcribed on mediaite.com has been, naturally, very mixed.

Support for the controversial presenter was limited with many taking an opposite stance.

Indeed, the general feeling was summed up by one respondent on the mediaite.com site:

“There is no explanation that will rationalize away the Saudi’s human rights violations. I don’t measure good and bad based on what American corporations do. They would sell their mother to the taliban if it meant bigger profits. I am happy that Tiger Woods is calling out the LIV golfers and trying to get more backing for the PGA. The LIV golfers have dug their grave and they can lie in it now. The Saudi’s believe in women as 2nd class citizens, and LGBTQ are even lower. They believe in corporal punishment which is vile. I DO have a problem with the idiot Smith fella criticizing anyone for finding fault with Saudi Arabia. I am sick of money talking, corporations deciding what is ethical and NOT prosecuting law breakers because they are politicians or rich.”

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61 Comments

  1. hko

    Sep 7, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    the description in the beginning says it all : ESPN’s “divisive” host Stephen A. Smith…
    why do we even bother? lol

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  4. whitemanfirstandproudofit

    Sep 1, 2022 at 4:08 am

    why bring race into this at all… disgusting totally disgusting. Must be a democrat

    • Mr

      Sep 5, 2022 at 4:52 pm

      Funny coming from a Vladimir Pootin/Donald Trumpski wanker on Dick Cheney food stamps!

    • joe

      Sep 6, 2022 at 10:59 am

      his comments suggest he’s MAGA. and a big mouthed fool. or is that redundant?

  5. Dp

    Aug 29, 2022 at 11:45 pm

    ESPN’s Disney Princesses all going hangbags LOL

  6. J Jackson

    Aug 29, 2022 at 10:43 pm

    I think it’s wonderful that millionaires can compete against billionaires and Win!

    And make sure you bring up the race card in Any discussion…

    Have fun while it lasts.

  7. AnnoyedWithYourDumbAss

    Aug 29, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    ESPN has always overpaid for Stephen “Another Rant” Smith. Anyone who has to qualify a statement with “I’m a black man” is a fake black man. White personalities get raked over the coals but Smith is a level 1 moron.

  8. Stattic

    Aug 29, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    I bet you Smith received some LIV money too. He doth protest too much. PGA and players taking action to protect their business is as American as apple pie. Just sitting around and letting LIV exist would be idiotic.

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  11. Joe

    Aug 26, 2022 at 11:13 am

    LOL there’s nothing competitive about LIV beer league

  12. Erik Ugland

    Aug 26, 2022 at 10:56 am

    I wonder how he’d feel if John Elway was organizing a new pro football league in, say, Russia, and Russian oligarchs were giving nine-figure guaranteed contracts to Pat Mahomes, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and all the top players.

  13. Donn Rutkoff

    Aug 24, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    I just want to play 1 or 2 rounds a year at a country club. But I make $50 thou a year. No room in the budget. TOUR spends how many thou each week for course pampering and prep before the pros set foot? How many non country club courses does the TOUR visit?

    • Adam

      Aug 31, 2022 at 12:49 pm

      This is a dumb comment, heres a SLEW of courses you can play any time if you front the mustard…..
      A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier The Greenbrier Resort (The Old White TPC) White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. $450

      Safeway Open Silverado Resort and Spa (North Course) Napa, Calif. $210

      Bermuda Championship Port Royal Golf Club Southampton, Bermuda $180

      Mayakoba Golf Classic El Camaleón Golf Club Playa del Carmen, Mexico $300

      The RSM Classic Sea Island Resort (Seaside Course) St. Simons Island, Ga. $335/250

      The RSM Classic Sea Island Resort (Plantation Course) St. Simons Island, Ga. $285/225

      Sentry Tournament of Champions Kapalua Resort (Plantation Course) Kapalua, Hawaii $359/$329

      Desert Classic PGA West (Stadium Course) La Quinta, Calif. $410

      Farmers Insurance Open Torrey Pines Golf Courses (North Course) San Diego, Calif. $122/152

      Farmers Insurance Open Torrey Pines Golf Courses (South Course) San Diego, Calif. $202/252

      Waste Management Phoenix Open TPC Scottsdale Scottsdale, Ariz. $380

      AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Pebble Beach Golf Links Pebble Beach, Calif. $575

      AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Spyglass Hill Pebble Beach, Calif. $415

      Puerto Rico Open Coco Beach Golf & Country Club Rio Grande, Puerto Rico $200

      The Honda Classic PGA National Resort & Spa (The Champion Course) Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. $400

      Arnold Palmer Invitational Bay Hill Club and Lodge Orlando, Fla. $250

      The Players Championship TPC Sawgrass (THE PLAYERS Stadium Course) Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. $600

      Valspar Championship Innisbrook (Copperhead Course) Palm Harbor, Fla. $335

      Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship Puntacana Resort & Club (Corales Golf Course) Punta Cana, Dominican Republic $395/295

      Valero Texas Open TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course) San Antonio, Texas $255

      RBC Heritage Harbour Town Golf Links Hilton Head Island, S.C. $380

      Zurich Classic of New Orleans TPC Louisiana New Orleans, La. $229

      John Deere Classic TPC Deere Run Silvis, Ill. $107/67

      Houston Open Memorial Park GC Houston, TX

  14. Goober Rat

    Aug 24, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    I don’t know how anyone can use the terms “meritocracy” and “professional golf” within the same conceptual discussion… unless it’s to say that they’re pay is far and beyond what anyone should ever “earn” for playing a game or sport.

    Tied 35th at the 2022 BMW paid more than the median US household income for a year. Pro golfers are about as low as it can get on the list of essential workers. That’s disgusting no matter where the money comes from.

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  16. freeze

    Aug 23, 2022 at 8:39 am

    He is upset that Tiger supports the PGA tour. Can a PGA player play a LIV event without being under contract?

    • Holmer

      Aug 29, 2022 at 3:40 am

      I think it’s more likely he wants a gig with LIV. lol

      As for the assertion that other companies, other products also come tainted with Saudi money, I would argue we know that very well. But there is a huge difference they leave out altogether. Golf is also an ideal. Personal integrity. You can’t have that with tainted Saudi money. It’s simply not possible.

      • DaveJ

        Sep 16, 2022 at 3:00 pm

        The PGA Tour is also tainted with Saudi money as well. I suppose they should probably all go back to being amateurs.

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  20. CrashTestDummy

    Aug 22, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Perhaps there will be a PGA player coup and Tiger Woods will reign as the next PGA commissioner. LOL.

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  22. Birdiedancer

    Aug 20, 2022 at 11:48 am

    Steven A. Smith, it’s self evident what the A. Stands for. Even his mother knew he would be one. He’s a woke racist moron who’s never had an original thought, never forget he’s paid to read a teleprompter. His talent is doing it in a loud and obnoxious way somehow ESPN thinks that’s great..

    • We Wuz Kangz

      Aug 20, 2022 at 6:51 pm

      Loud and obnoxious sounds like most blacks.

  23. Frank

    Aug 19, 2022 at 11:36 am

    Tiger is a rich POS.

  24. LIV Undercover Esquire

    Aug 18, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    The PGA Tour is garbage! A bunch of whiny millionaires watching their own bottom line.

    Human rights? Rory couldn’t spell it.

  25. Richie Hunt

    Aug 18, 2022 at 8:19 am

    Tiger has yet to mention that he’s against the LIV Tour because they are backed by the Saudi’s. He simply wants to protect the PGA Tour. And capitalism doesn’t mean that you cannot protect your business nor does it mean that you cannot seek to get a competitive advantage over other businesses. The LIV Tour existing by itself and already having plans for 2023 and 2024, in itself, debunks their claim that the PGA Tour is not allowing for competition.

    • Jbone

      Aug 26, 2022 at 9:07 am

      “capitalism doesn’t mean that you cannot protect your business”

      That depends heavily on how you’re protecting it.

  26. Job

    Aug 18, 2022 at 12:00 am

    Jesus is the answer to all of this. When we are all done with life on earth and the role is called, no one will cate or remember. Heaven or Hell? Which one will it be for you?

    • Mower

      Aug 21, 2022 at 5:26 pm

      Hell of course! It’ll be fun!

    • Brian

      Aug 25, 2022 at 10:39 pm

      I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was 8 years old.

  27. Kevin

    Aug 17, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    Who cares what that idiot Smith thinks? I lost all respect for him when he made the comment about the great race horse Barbaro, having to be put down after he broke his leg in the Preakness.

  28. Graham Gillis

    Aug 17, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    Tiger did not bring up the Saudi connection. He is being supportive of the history and future of the PGA. As someone who has followed the game since Arnold Palmer, I support that history. Any player that wants to go to LIV, have at it. The LIV is not open to all and offers no road map to make it there. It is an elitist league and that is fine. But, no sympathy for those who want LIV and only the best of the PGA

  29. C’mon Man!

    Aug 17, 2022 at 2:42 pm

    It’s amazing how not knowing the facts doesn’t get in the way of having an opinion about something.

  30. Fred

    Aug 17, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    The PGA tours hypocritical stance backed by hypocritical players is just starting to get found out. He spoke sense and this is echoed in clubhouses around the land. He’s absolutely spot on about the corporate sponsors. They won’t even be able to name the journalist that was murdered they care that much.

    • GaGolfer

      Aug 17, 2022 at 3:41 pm

      Be more educated before you speak. Microsoft tried to squelch every other web browser to eliminate competition. Drug companies get exclusive rights for their products before generics can come into the picture, thereby eliminating competition. Don’t complain about capitalism without knowing what capitalism is. The PGA Tour is behaving like a capitalistic corporation. Deal with it.

      • Wooger Fooger

        Aug 24, 2022 at 1:52 pm

        This is 100% correct. Modern US capitalism is all about monopoly, crushing the competition by any means necessary, and people who do very little being paid the most.

        LIV is fighting back by trying to make it a single-issue thing (sound familiar?), and saying it’s all because of Saudi money.

        This is simply two enormous corporations fighting a public battle for market control, with their own teams of millionaires on both sides. The fact that anyone who isn’t a millionaire cares either way is pretty pathetic. We should shut them both down and let the pros play for a cut of ticket sales.

      • BirdieKing

        Aug 29, 2022 at 8:56 am

        “The PGA Tour is behaving like a capitalistic corporation. Deal with it.”

        And so maybe they are. However, it’s a bad look to come out and try to make the case that it’s a bout “hUmAn RiGhTs” when the very corporate sponsors that fund your league do tens of billions a year with SA. But somehow, when LIV does it, it’s now suddenly a moral imperative? GTFO.

        Hypocritical trash. Just tell the truth; “We don’t want the competition. We enjoy being the only game in town.”

  31. Jordan

    Aug 17, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    Good for Stephan a Smith to show some serious common sense!

    • Mario A. Linares

      Aug 17, 2022 at 1:33 pm

      I don’t go to Stephen A. Smith for common sense. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and often on the sharp tips of his cowboy boots. He does have his first amendment rights to say his thoughts and their are times, like this one, I don’t have to agree.

  32. Kelly

    Aug 17, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    No Smith tells it like it is. Woods make millions from the Saudi’s. His group grabbed every dollar they could flying all over the world for his appearance fee. He played a limited PGA schedule for years while he chased the dollar all over the world. Yet he thinks the players who have gone to LIV are greedy. What a hypocrite. You know why he shows up or makes an announcement when a big tourny is to start. Easy he can’t stand not being the main event. He is his fathers son. A skirt chasing egotistical jerk. A great golfer for sure. But nothing else to be considered a role model for our young. How soon you people forget what a classless act he is. A whore in every city while his wife is home raising the kids. That is the real Tiger Woods folks.

    • Earnie Shavers

      Aug 22, 2022 at 6:04 pm

      lol dumnb ignorant comment. Tiger has NEVER played in Saudi but let me guess another ignorant American who thinks Dubai is Saudi?

    • Just Normal

      Aug 29, 2022 at 1:55 am

      …and yet I’m almost certain you wear a little red hat

  33. Wolf

    Aug 17, 2022 at 11:55 am

    Various sponsors of PGA tour players do 40 billion dollars of business with Saudi Arabia every year. The U.S. buys billions in oil from the Saudi’s what’s the difference.

    • Thomas A

      Aug 23, 2022 at 10:15 am

      The difference is that Saud is trying to start a competing league. It’s fine that Aramco wants to sponsor LET events. It’s fine that there is a Saudi event on the DP World Tour or Asian Tour. Why can’t the PGA Tour protect its assets from a possible competitor? The players signed contracts with the PGAT. They dishonored those contracts so they will be banned. That’s perfectly fine. Go play with LIV. See how that works out. The fact that it’s the Saudi monarchy fronting the league is just another topic. It could be Indonesia or China or Turkey and I’d feel the same way about it.

    • Brian

      Aug 25, 2022 at 10:44 pm

      You really want to take your ethics lessons from corporations and the U.S. government?!? ‘So and so killed a man, so it isn’t so bad if I do, too.’ Dummy…

  34. Your momma

    Aug 17, 2022 at 11:41 am

    Good for Steven A, call out the hypocrites.
    Nobody talks about how there are individual PG tour players that are invested and partnered with the PGA Tour and off the course companies. No wonder why I feel these top guys are so outspoken. #facts

  35. Frank

    Aug 17, 2022 at 11:28 am

    All true! enough with the fake outrage. Tiger is King Nike products what about the human slaves in China??

  36. Scott

    Aug 17, 2022 at 10:52 am

    Nobody has taken more 7 figure checks from the Middle East than Tiger. This is strictly about LIV threatening the future of the PGA Tour. Any argument about Tiger, et al decrying LIV needs to understand that the disaffected players are not upset about human rights. It is duplicitous for Rory, etc. to use Saudis human rights record in any argument. It is strictly about drumming up negativity for something that threatens the product. All that said, LIV is apparently an awful product – nobody can argue that.

  37. Greg McNeill

    Aug 17, 2022 at 10:39 am

    Steven A. Smith is a clown who is well paid to go on ill-informed rants.

  38. Bob Jones

    Aug 17, 2022 at 10:31 am

    Why anybody pays attention to what Steve Smith says is beyond me. He gets paid to stir the pot, not to do anything resembling thinking. Good grief.

  39. joe

    Aug 17, 2022 at 10:27 am

    Smith is a clown.

    Smith is a clown.

    I cannot say this enough.

    • Jed

      Aug 17, 2022 at 5:13 pm

      Spot on. So much for America 1st. People are painting the PGA as some kind of communist gulag. It’s pretty bloody good!

  40. Gary Ahlert

    Aug 17, 2022 at 10:21 am

    It’s odd that the LPGA, Basketball, NASCAR, The DP Tour, Individual Players and many others as well have all played in Saudi sponsored and financed events. So much hypocrisy and dishonesty. The PGA Tour does NOTHING for the players. The players are not employees. As such, they (the players) have a right to play wherever and with whomever they chose. They are professionals and it is the manner in which they make their living. What about China? I love the events of the PGA Tour. However, there is more than ample room for more than one tour.

    • Brian

      Aug 25, 2022 at 10:47 pm

      The membership agreements they signed with the PGA Tour says otherwise.

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19th Hole

Cam Smith enjoys meme poking fun at Rory McIlroy at latest LIV event

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The LIV Golf Series continues this week in Chicago, where the Champion Golfer of the Year Cam Smith will make his second start.

The Australian’s move to LIV has been one of the biggest stories of 2022, with Smith reportedly signing a deal worth north of $100 million with the breakaway tour.

Ahead of this week’s event in Chicago, Smith was shown a meme by the DrunkByTheTurn team, with the Aussie seemingly entertained, laughing at its content alongside fellow pro Pat Perez.

As revealed by the DrunkByTheTurn Twitter account, the meme in question was poking fun at LIV’s biggest critic Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy has continuously criticized both the LIV Golf Series and its defectors, just this week saying that he believes no LIV player should be a part of the 2023 Ryder Cup.

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19th Hole

Report: Major TV network the leading contender to strike deal for LIV Golf media rights

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The latest LIV Golf event gets underway in Chicago this week, with those looking to tune in once again having to fire up YouTube to watch the 48 professionals do battle.

LIV has yet to strike a media deal that would allow a network or streaming service to broadcast their events, and while rumors surrounding a deal with Apple were circulating, Barstool’s Dan Rapaport reported this week that they deemed LIV to be “too toxic.”

According to a report from Front Office Sports, Fox Sports is now the leading contender to acquire LIV’s U.S. media rights.

While not going into specifics on whether a deal was close to being struck with Fox, Will Staeger, LIV’s chief media officer, told FOS that they are currently in discussions with “virtually every major media company.”

“We want exposure. We want broad viewership. We want to be on a platform where viewers are accustomed to watching sports.” he added. “Golf needs it, actually. Quite honestly, listening to golf on TV gets rather boring. Because everybody says the same thing every time about everybody.”

Interestingly, Fox Sports fired Greg Norman from his announcing role back in 2016, just a year after being in the job, with the Aussie telling FOS last year that he felt that he got “rolled under the bus.”

Earlier this week, Norman revealed to Kap & J. Hood on ESPN 1000 that they were in discussion with four different networks, and it appears that Fox lead the race to land a deal that should be a game-changer for LIV.

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19th Hole

Bryson DeChambeau thanks Tiger for creating LIV Golf

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Bryson DeChambeau was one of the biggest names to jump ship in golf’s civil war, with the 29-year-old reportedly earning over $100 million to sign with LIV Golf.

The Golf Scientist will tee it up in Chicago this week for the latest LIV Golf Series event, and ahead of the 54-hole tournament, Bryson opened up on his decision to leave the PGA Tour.

“This is the biggest decision besides choosing my agent that I’ve ever made in my entire life, and I couldn’t be happier to be over here.

“I have no buyer’s remorse. I have ultimate respect for the PGA Tour and what they’ve done for my career, as I’ve said from day one, and they’ve allowed me this opportunity.”

Then, Bryson revealed that he must thank Tiger for creating the opportunity.

“I have to look back and thank Tiger for this opportunity because he’s the one that’s ultimately created this.”

Bryson didn’t go into specifics on the latter comment, however, it echoes the sentiment he shared two months ago when the Californian told media: “I have high regard for Tiger; look, this wouldn’t be existing if it weren’t for Tiger. So I have the utmost respect for what he did for the game of golf, what he did for the PGA Tour that allowed us to have this opportunity.’’

Back in July, DeChambeau also revealed that a once close relationship with Tiger had now gone cold since the PGA Tour/LIV Golf divide.

“We have been fairly close and unfortunately, we have not spoken, one day we will again, and I am always open for a conversation with anybody. I have no problem with it and I hope we can come see eye to eye on it.’’

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