Tiger Woods’ allegiance to the PGA Tour is quite strong, in case anyone was wondering. The 15-time Major champion reportedly received an offer in the “high nine digits” to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series, but declined.
Greg Norman, commissioner of LIV Golf and CEO of LIV Golf Investments, said the upstart league backed by Saudi Arabia had reached out to Woods’ representatives, in hopes of getting the game’s most recognizable star to come over.
“Mind-blowingly enormous,” Norman said Tuesday of the offer to Woods, via The Washington Post. “We’re talking about high nine digits.”
Nine digits falls in line with what other players such as Dustin Johnson were paid to leave the PGA Tour. Johnson was reportedly paid around $125 million to play in the league, with the inaugural event teeing off Thursday at Centurion Club in London. Johnson officially announced his resignation from the PGA Tour Tuesday.
Like Woods, golf’s arguably greatest icon in Jack Nicklaus declined to take the money. Nicklaus said last month he told LIV Golf he wasn’t interested on being aligned with the league, turning down a nine digit offer. Nicklaus added that he’d have “zero interest in wanting to do something like that,” in regards to joining LIV Golf.
Norman refuted the claim that Nicklaus wasn’t interested in the interview with The Washington Post. Norman said that Nicklaus was a “hypocrite,” and said the 18-time Major champ “attended a LIV presentation and later wrote in an email that the new tour had his blessing.”
“Quote-unquote. ‘This is good for our game. If it’s good for the game of golf, it’s good by me,’ ” Norman said. “So, you want the facts? You’ve got the facts. Know what you said before you open your mouth.”
After much speculation, Phil Mickelson decided to make the move as well, announcing his decision Monday. Golf Channel reports that “Lefty” received an offer of around $200 million to play in the league.
Woods has pledged his support for the PGA Tour on several occasions over the past few months, as recent as the week leading to the PGA Championship a couple weeks ago. He addressed the absence of Mickelson from the tournament and the idea of playing in LIV Golf.
“It’s always disappointing when the defending champion is not here,” Woods said. “Phil has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the Tour and committed to the legacy of the Tour have pushed back against. And he’s taken some personal time, and we all understand that.
“But I think that some of his views on how the Tour could be run, should be run, been a lot of disagreement there. As a professional, we miss him being out here. I mean, he’s a big draw for the game of golf. He’s just taking his time, and we all wish him the best when he comes back. Obviously, we’re going to have difference of opinions, how he sees the Tour, and we’ll go from there.”