Superstar golfer Tiger Woods reportedly turned down a major offer to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf.
Speaking to the Washington Post, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said Tiger Woods turned down a “mind-blowingly enormous” deal to associate with the tournament that aims to upend the PGA monopoly.
“We’re talking about high nine digits,” Norman said. As noted by Golf Digest, news of the Tiger Woods offer comes after all-time great Jack Nicklaus acknowledged he “turned down a $100 million offer to be associated with LIV Golf” on top of reports that “Dustin Johnson received a nine-figure deal to play in the LIV Golf Invitational series.”Tiger Woods previously expressed his support and loyalty to the PGA Championship in May.
Tiger Woods plays a shot at the 2022 Masters (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
“You know, [Phil Mickelson] has his opinion on where he sees the game of golf going. I have my viewpoint on how I see the game of golf, and I’ve supported the tour and my foundation has run events on the tour for a number of years,” Woods said.“I just think that what Jack [Nicklaus] and Arnold [Palmer] have done in starting the tour and breaking away from the PGA of America and creating our tour in ’68 or ’69, somewhere in there, I just think there’s a legacy to that,” headed. Tiger added that he still believes in the “legacy” of the PGA Tour and that it still has much opportunity to offer.
“There’s plenty of money out here. The tour is growing. But it’s just like any other sport. It’s like tennis. You have to go out there and earn it. You’ve got to go out there and play for it. We have opportunity to go ahead and do it. It’s just not guaranteed up front,” he said.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan threatened players with sanctions and suspensions should they participate in the LIV series. The 54-hole event will be played at the Centurion Golf Club outside of London, which will be attended by 16 of the top 100-ranked players in the world.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Though Dustin Johnson initially said he would not participate in the event, his agent said he ultimately felt it was “in his and his family’s best interest.”
“Dustin has been contemplating this opportunity off-and-on for the past couple of years. Ultimately, he decided it was in his and his family’s best interest to pursue it,” said Johnson’s agent. “Dustin has never had any issue with the PGA Tour and is grateful for all it has given him, but in the end felt this was too compelling to pass up.”
When asked about the event during the PGA Championship, Johnson said, “I think golf is in a good spot, and I think what they’re doing … could potentially be good for the game of golf. I’m excited to see what happens here in a few weeks.”
LIV founder Greg Norman sparked controversy last month when he addressed his Saudi Arabia ties by saying the government-sanctioned killing of Jamal Khashoggi was a mere mistake, no different than the many past mistakes committed by the United States.
According to the New York Post, Norman’s LIV Golf aims to “compete with the PGA Tour by promising golfers more money — and guaranteed appearance fees — for fewer appearances.” The PGA Tour recently denied golfers waivers to compete in the first LIV Invitational Golf Series tournament.