According to the tour’s CEO, Greg Norman, Tiger Woods turned down a $700-$800 million deal to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
During a Fox News interview that aired on Monday, Tucker Carlson questioned former world No. 1 Norman if it was true that Woods was offered $700-$800 million to join the LIV Golf series.
“That number was out there before I became CEO,” Norman replied. “So, that number’s been out there, yes. Look, Tiger’s a needle mover, right?
“So, of course, you’re going to look at the best of the best. They had originally approached Tiger before I became CEO, so, yes, that number is somewhere in that neighborhood.”
Previously, Norman told the Washington Post in June that Woods was offered a large sum of money to participate but declined. Norman described Woods’ suggestion as “mind-bogglingly large; we’re talking high nine figures.”
The contentious tour has enticed several major names in golf to abandon the traditional PGA Tour and DP World Tour to compete for large sums of money.
Major champions Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel, and Martin Kaymer have all joined the breakaway endeavour, which has offered players large sums of money to participate.
The LIV Golf series is supported by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and has vowed to offer $250 million in total prize money.
However, many players, including Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, have criticised the players for abandoning golf’s established setup and accepting money from a country with a poor human rights record.
Before the Open in St. Andrews, Scotland, in July, Woods stated that he disapproved with the players who had quit.
“I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position,” the 15-time major winner said.
“Some of these players may not ever get a chance to play in major championships. That is a possibility. We don’t know that for sure yet. It’s up to all the major championship bodies to make that determination.
“But that is a possibility, that some players will never, ever get a chance to play in a major championship, never get a chance to experience this right here, walk down the fairways at Augusta National.
“But what these players are doing for guaranteed money, what is the incentive to practice? What is the incentive to go out there and earn it in the dirt? You’re just getting paid a lot of money up front and playing a few events and playing 54 holes. They’re playing blaring music and have all these atmospheres that are different.”