Tiger Woods turned down a contract “in the neighborhood of” $700 million and $800 million to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series, CEO Greg Norman confirmed during an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Monday (August 1).
“That number was out there before I became CEO,” Norman said when asked by Carlson if the reported offer range was true. “Look, Tiger is a needle mover, right? So, of course you’re got 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.”
Woods, a 15-time major champion, has publicly supported the PGA Tour in its ongoing battle with the emerging LIV Golf to keep the best golfers in the world, but also showed his support of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of Saint Andrews’ decision to invite Norman, a two-time winner of the Open championship, to the 150th celebration of the event last month, despite his ties to the controversial league.
“The R&A obviously have their opinions and their rulings and their decision,” Woods said via ESPN. “Greg has done some things that I don’t think is in the best interest of our game, and we’re coming back to probably the most historic and traditional place in our sport. I believe it’s the right thing.”
Woods was also critical of players who left the PGA Tour in order to join LIV Golf, which has controversial ties to the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.
Several of golf’s biggest names, including Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka, have all signed multiyear deals with LIV Golf, which offers guaranteed contracts ranging between $100 million and $200 million.
“I disagree with it,” Woods said. “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.”
In June, the PGA Tour suspended all 17 members who competed in the inaugural LIV Golf event, according to a copy of a memo announcing the punishment to players shared by Front Office Sports ahead of the event on June 9.
The announced disciplinary action came just as the 17 PGA members and former members hit their opening tee shots in the inaugural event, which was held at Centurion Club outside of London.
Norman’s interview with Carlson was taped at the LIV Golf Invitational Series at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey last weekend, which resulted in protests from 9/11 groups given Saudi Arabia’s connection to the 2001 terrorist attacks and the proximity of the course to New York City.