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SportReport: Tiger Woods Turned Down $3.25 Million Offer to Play in Saudi Arabia

21:35  08 november  2018
21:35  08 november  2018 Source:   si.com

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Tiger Woods has turned down his biggest ever potential overseas pay cheque to play in the European Tour’s inaugural event in Saudi Arabia Roger Federer has revealed that he snubbed a m offered to play in an exhibition in Jeddah on Dec 22 for which Rafael Nadal and Noval Djokovic

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Report: Tiger Woods Turned Down $3.25 Million Offer to Play in Saudi Arabia © Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Tiger Woods turned down a $3.25 million offer to play in the Saudi Intertnational, a new European Tour event sponsored by the Saudi government, according to a report from The Telegraph.

Woods has long played in tournaments in far corners of the globe in exchange for high appearance fees. It is not clear whether Woods's refusal of the offer is related to the political situation in Saudi Arabia. The country's government has been under intense scrutiny since the pre-meditated murder of Saudi journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

The event, which is scheduled for Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, 2019, coincides with the PGA Tour's Waste Management Phoenix Open, a tournament Woods has not played in recent years. The Saudi International does come one week after the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where Woods is expected to compete. Playing in Saudi Arabia would require him to fly nearly 9,000 miles and overcome an 11-hour time difference in just three days.

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President Trump met with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, in Saudi Arabia last month.CreditCreditStephen Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis initially tried on Monday to smooth over the rift, with Mr. Tillerson offering to play peacemaker and Mr

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Woods is the second high-profile athlete who reportedly turned down an offer to play in a Saudi government-sponsored sporting event. Tennis legend Roger Federer said he was offered a chance to play in an exhibition match in Jeddah, but declined. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are scheduled to play an exhibition in Saudi Arabia in December, though both players have been criticized for going through with the match amid the political and human rights situation in the country.

Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Paul Casey are among the golfers committed to playing in the event. Keith Pelley, head of the European Tour, was asked about the event given the situation in Saudi Arabia and suggested the tournament would go on as scheduled unless something changes.

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When he was a presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump took a hard line against Saudi Arabia , criticizing its human rights record and slamming his opponent, Hillary Clinton, for the donations her family foundation received from the country.

“I’ll be very, very clear,” Pelley said. “Saudi International is on our schedule and we’ll continue to monitor just like we would do with every other country We have heard some of the criticism of the region. Obviously freedom of speech is far more available now based on social media. We’ve listened and we will continue to monitor the situation.”

Woods typically stays tight-lipped on both political matters and pay-for-play appearances, so it would be surprising to hear him elaborate on this report. While he has never publicly stated his political beliefs, Woods has played golf with multiple U.S. presidents, including Barack Obama and Donald Trump. In August, Woods was asked about Trump and steered away from a political discussion, though he did say "we all must respect the office."

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Saudi public prosecutor arrives in Istanbul overnight: Anadolu.
The Saudi public prosecutor heading the investigation into the killing of Jamal Khashoggi arrived in Istanbul overnight, the state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Monday, ahead of expected talks with the Istanbul chief prosecutor. President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey values the outcome of the talks between the two prosecutors. The timing of their meeting was not immediately clear. Anadolu said the Saudi prosecutor would also inspect the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where Khashoggi was killed three weeks ago.

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