Tiger Woods will not be playing in the Saudi International tournament on the European Tour in January 2020.

Woods snubbed the Crown Prince's largest ever offer of $3 million to play in the event saying "I just don't want to go over there. It's a long way.''

It's not too long a journey for Phil Mickelson who is the latest to take a massive appearance fee.  That's also interesting as it means he will miss the Phoenix Open where he has been the headline act for many years.

Phil Mickelson joins a field including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia and Shane Lowry.  Garcia is believed "not" to be taking an appearance fee as reparation for his on-course histrionics at the event last year.

Saudi Arabia has been on a charm offensive since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul on the alleged orders of the government in Saudi Arabia.

But is buying sports stars to repair the country's image? Yes says Keith Pelley, CEO of the European Tour.

"I went over there first and listened to his Excellency at a sports conference, talk about how the country wanted to change, needed to change, wanted to use sports as a catalyst, was committed to golf."

Right or wrong, one thing is for sure though, Tiger Woods wont be there.

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