LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman apparently wasn't exaggerating about Tiger Woods turning down a "mind-blowingly enormous" offer in June to join the new golf league.
Speaking to Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Monday, Norman confirmed reports that Woods — perhaps the greatest golfer in the sport's history — rejected LIV Golf's multi-year offer in the "neighborhood" of $700 to $800 million.
Instead of joining LIV Golf, Woods will remain with the PGA Tour.
"The [dollar-figure-offer] number has been out there, yes," Norman said. "Tiger is a needle-mover. So, of course you got to look at the best of the best. [LIV Golf founders] originally approached Tiger before I became CEO, so yes, that number is somewhere in that neighborhood."
The LIV Golf tour, which is financed by the Saudis' sovereign-wealth fund, launched in the spring. To attract some of the world's best golfers, LIV Golf reportedly shelled out guaranteed contracts exceeding double-digit millions to Dustin Johnson (reported $150 million), Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, and Bryson DeChambeau (reported $100 million).
As a reaction to its stars bolting for the startup league, the PGA Tour suspended every LIV Golf signee from its calendar of Tour events. Whether it's a yearly ban, or a permanent removal from tour events, remains to be seen.
This crackdown on LIV Golf might also extend to two of golf's four major tournaments: The PGA Championship and the Open Championship.
In advance of last month's Open Championship in Scotland, Woods reaffirmed his commitment to the PGA Tour and lamented those defecting to the LIV Golf league.
"The players who have chosen to go to LIV and to play there, I disagree with it," said Woods, who has collected 15 major championships in his decorated career. "I think that what they've done is they've turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position."
The LIV Golf tour plans to have 14 tournaments next season and expanded team rosters. In all, 48 golfers will be competing for $405 million in total prize money.
On Monday, the long-established PGA Tour chose to fight LIV Golf in a language the new league can easily understand: By upping the ante with its cash payouts.
The PGA announced major changes to its payout schedule for the 2022-23 golf season:
- The total prize money for the non-majors portion of the 2022-23 schedule would increase to $428.6 million, a Tour record.
- Two special Challenge series events would involve total purses of more than $63 million.
- The three FedEx Cup events will carry an additional $20 million in purse winnings.
- The winner of the FedEx Cup stands to make $75 million for claiming the season-ending award, which takes place at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
- An additional $61.5 million would be earmarked for golf's four majors in 2023: The Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open, and The Open Championship.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.