Superstar golfer Tiger Woods reportedly turned down a big offer to join Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf.
Speaking of Washington PostLIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said Tiger Woods turned down a “staggeringly huge” deal to be linked to the tournament, which aims to reverse the PGA monopoly.
“We’re talking high nine-digit numbers here,” Norman said. As noted by Golf Digest, news of Tiger Woods’ offer comes after all-time great Jack Nicklaus admitted he “turned down a $100 million offer to join LIV Golf,” adding to reports that “Dustin Johnson has landed 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 chance at the 2022 Masters (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
“You know, [Phil Mickelson] has his opinion on where he sees the game of golf. I have my perspective on how I view the game of golf and I have supported the Tour and my foundation has been running events on the Tour for a number of years,” Woods said. “I think this is Jack [Nicklaus] and Arnold [Palmer] done, starting the Tour and breaking away from the PGA of America and starting our Tour in ’68 or ’69 somewhere in there, I just think that’s a legacy,” he began. Tiger added that he still believes in the PGA Tour’s “legacy” and that it still has many opportunities to offer.
“There’s a lot of money out here. The tour is growing. But it’s like any other sport. It’s like tennis. You gotta go out there and earn it. You have to go out and play for it. We have the opportunity to go ahead and do it. It’s just not guaranteed in advance,” he said.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has threatened players with sanctions and suspensions should they compete in the LIV series. The 54-hole event will be played at Centurion Golf Club outside London and will feature 16 of the world’s top 100 players.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Although Dustin Johnson originally said he would not be attending the event, his agent said he ultimately felt it was “in his and his family’s best interests.”
“Dustin has considered this opportunity time and time again over the past several years. Ultimately, he decided it was in his own interest and that of his family to pursue it,” Johnson’s agent said. “Dustin has never had a problem with the PGA Tour and is grateful for everything it has given him, but in the end he was too convincing to pass up.”
When asked about the event during the PGA Championship, Johnson said, “I think golf is in a good place, and I think what they’re doing … could potentially be good for the game of golf.” I’m excited to see what’s going to happen here in a few weeks.”
LIV founder Greg Norman sparked controversy last month when addressing his ties with Saudi Arabia by saying the government-sanctioned assassination of Jamal Khashoggi was a mere mistake, no different from the United States’ many mistakes in the past.
According to that 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 a waiver to play in the first tournament of the LIV Invitational Golf Series.