Tiger Woods turned down an offer of between $700 million and $800 million to enter the LIV Golf Invitational Series, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman confirmed in an interview that aired Monday night.
Norman, who appeared on an episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight, said LIV Golf approached Woods, a 15-time major champion, before appointing him as the new circuit’s CEO and commissioner.
“That number was out there before I became CEO,” Fox News host Norman Tucker Carlson said during an interview held at the LIV Golf Invitational Series event at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey last weekend. “See, Tiger is a needle maker, right? So of course you have to check out the best of the best. They originally approached Tiger before I became CEO. That number is somewhere in that neighborhood.”
Woods, 46, has been a staunch supporter of the PGA Tour during his ongoing battle with LIV Golf to become the best player in the world. At last month’s Open Championship in St Andrews, Woods said he supports the R&A’s decision not to invite Norman, a two-time winner of the event, to the 150th celebration of the Open.
“The R&A obviously have their opinions and their judgments and their decisions,” Woods said. “Greg has done some things that I believe are not in the best interest of our game and we are returning to what is probably the most historic and storied place in our sport. I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Woods also criticized players who left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf, which is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. LIV Golf has lured several players, including former major champions Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka, to the new tour with guaranteed contracts reportedly worth between $100 million and $200 million, in addition to prize money at each event.
“I don’t agree with that,” Woods said. “I think they have turned their backs on what allowed them to get to that position.”
During the interview with Carlson, Norman called the PGA Tour a “monopoly” and said it created obstacles that caused LIV Golf to change its plans for the start. Last week, LIV Golf announced it was expanding its streak to 14 tournaments in 2023, with 48 players across 12 established team franchises competing for $405 million in prize money.
Last month, two player managers confirmed to ESPN that the US Department of Justice had opened an investigation into the PGA Tour’s handling of its players and whether it engaged in anti-competitive behavior during its ongoing battle with LIV Golf.
“It’s a monopoly,” Norman said. “They just want to shut us down in any way they can, so they will use every lever to shut us down and they don’t. You won’t turn us off because the product speaks for itself. “
Norman said he was also surprised that some longtime corporate sponsors dropped players who defected to LIV Golf.
“This blows my mind,” Norman said. “By the way, sponsors spending billions of dollars in Saudi Arabia. The PGA Tour has about 27 sponsors, I think, doing over $40 billion worth of business in Saudi Arabia every year. Why not? the PGA Tour calls the CEO of these organizations [and say], ‘I’m sorry we can’t do business with you because you do business with Saudi Arabia.’ Why are they picking on the pro golfers?”
During the interview with Carlson, Norman noted that one of the biggest sponsors of the women’s gulf is Aramco, the Saudi Arabian oil company.
“Not a single word has been said about her,” Norman said. “Why is it the boys? Why are we the ogres? What did we do wrong?”
https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/34330962/tiger-woods-turned-offer-neighborhood-700-800-million-approached-join-liv-golf-greg-norman-says Tiger Woods turned down offer in ‘neighborhood’ of $700-800 million when approached to join LIV Golf, Greg Norman says