Former pro golfer Greg Norman said on Monday that Tiger Woods turned down an offer of $700 million to $800 million to play in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
He told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the offer was “somewhere in that neighborhood” and that Woods was approached before Norman became CEO.
“So, of course, you’re going 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.”
When Carlson asked him about American golf fans who find the LIV Golf tour offensive, Norman said he “doesn’t care.”
“I really don’t care, quite honestly, I just love the game of golf so much and I just want to grow the game of golf and we at LIV see this as an opportunity.”
He added that the tour is not just for the men, but for the women and for the NCAA and younger generation as a “pathway to opportunities for these kids to experience a new world out there.”
According to Norman, LIV is the “future” of golf.
Woods has previously criticized his fellow golfers leaving the PGA Tour for the newly created LIV Golf tour, saying that he disagrees with the player movement.
He told ESPN in July, “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.”
LIV Golf, which is holding an event at former President Trump’s Bedminster, N.J., golf club, has been facing criticism after golfers left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. The new tour has lured prominent PGA Tour players, such as Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka, with its guaranteed payout regardless of performance in the tournament.
According to the PGA Tour’s bylaws, golfers aren’t allowed to participate in other leagues unless they get permission from the tour’s commissioner. However, golfers who have signed release forms to participate in LIV Golf’s inaugural tournament had their requests denied by the PGA Tour.
Critics have also regarded the league as a blatant effort at “sports washing” by the oil-rich monarchy, led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.