Tiger Woods turned down an offer that Greg Norman said was “somewhere in that neighborhood” of $700-800 million to compete in the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series.
During an appearance on Fox News with Tucker Carlson that aired Monday night, Norman confirmed what he told the Washington Post in a story two months ago. Norman told the Post in June that the offer was “surprisingly huge; we’re talking high nine figures.
Woods has been against LIV Golf since late last year, and he made his strongest comments at the British Open when he said players who took the money funded by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund had “turned their backs” on the PGA Tour that made them famous.
When an offer was made to Woods was unclear.
“That number was there before I became CEO. So that number has been there, yeah,” Norman said in the Fox News interview, which took place Sunday at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey. where the third LIV Golf Invitational was held.
“And, look, Tiger is a needle mover and of course you have to watch the best of the best,” Norman said. “So they originally approached Tiger before I became CEO. So, yeah, that number was somewhere in that neighborhood.
Various reports from the UK said that Phil Mickelson received a $200 million signing bonus, while Dustin Johnson received $150 million. The 48-player courses, which play 54 holes without cutting, offer $25 million in prize money at each event. Norman has announced a 14-tournament schedule for next year.
LIV Golf currently has only one player – Johnson at No. 18 – among the top 20 in the world.
The source of the funding has led to heavy criticism of the show and the actors who enlisted, as it is seen as an attempt to distract from its human rights record and its ties to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
When asked why his rival tour caused such an outcry among American golf fans, Norman replied bluntly, “I don’t know.”
“I don’t care,” Norman said. “I love the game so much and want to grow the game of golf and we at LIV see this opportunity not only for men but also for women.”
The LIV Golf Invitational is on hiatus for a month during the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour, returning Labor Day weekend about an hour west of Boston, then two weeks later in the suburbs from Chicago.
More AP Golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports