Tiger Woods asked Greg Norman, CEO of the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf series, to step down amid a row with the PGA Tour.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the start of his Hero World Challenge event in New Providence, Bahamas, Woods said Norman “has got to go.”
Asked whether the LIV Golf series and the PGA Tour can co-exist, Woods said: “Not now, not with their leadership, not with Greg there and his animosity towards the Tour itself. I don’t see that happening.”
After the launch of the LIV Golf series earlier this year, the sport of golf has been split with many of the PGA Tour’s top players moving on to the rival series.
Earlier this year, LIV Golf filed an antitrust lawsuit alongside some of its players, alleging that the PGA Tour threatened to impose lifetime bans on players participating in the LIV Golf series.
The lawsuit also alleges that the PGA Tour threatened sponsors, suppliers and agents to coerce players to forgo opportunities to play at LIV Golf events and access to its membership.
The PGA Tour filed a counter-suit in late September, alleging “wrongful interference with the Tour’s contracts with its members”.
The LIV Golf series is backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
In the inaugural season of the controversial and lucrative tour, former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson claimed the individual championship title and $18 million in prize money.
Woods – who returned to golf earlier this year following serious injuries sustained in a car accident – has previously voiced opposition to the LIV Golf series and on Wednesday reaffirmed his position.
“I think Greg has to go, first and foremost, and then obviously the litigation against us and then our counter-suit against them, those would also have to be suspended,” said the 15-time major champion. “Then we can talk, we can all talk freely.”
In an interview with Fox News that aired in August, Norman said that Woods turned down an offer of approximately $700 to $800 million to join the LIV series Golf.
Earlier this month, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy also called for Norman to step down from his position at the top of the breakaway series.
LIV Golf declined to comment on Woods’ latest remarks when contacted by CNN.
Woods has not competed since July and announced this week that he was withdrawing from the Hero World Challenge with plantar fasciitis – pain at the base of his foot.
“It was a tough decision just because I want to play,” Woods said. “I like to play, I like to compete, but unfortunately – I can hit the golf ball and hit any shot you want – I just can’t walk.
“I had a few setbacks during the year that I still managed to get over, but this one I just can’t.”
He said his goal next year is to just play in the majors and one or two other tournaments, as that’s all he can physically handle.