LIV Golf, the new league financed by the government of Saudi Arabia, offered Tiger Woods US$700-800 million to lure him away from the PGA Tour, said CEO Greg Norman.
In an interview with Fox News during LIV Golf’s tournament in Bedminster (New Jersey, USA), Norman revealed that they made the offer to Tiger Woods because of his immense popularity and influence.
“That number has been out there,” said Norman. “Tiger is a needle mover. So of course you got to look at the best of the best. They had originally approached Tiger before I became CEO.”
Woods, winner of 15 major championships and one of the most powerful players in the world of golf, ultimately decided to stay loyal to the PGA Tour.
Norman also defended LIV Golf from PGA claims that the new league was a threat to the future of golf. “Our model is 100% built around the golf ecosystem from the ground up. We are not trying to destroy the PGA tour or the European tour. We are here to work within the ecosystem to show that it’s a big enough space,” he said.
LIV Golf intends to develop a circuit that rivals the US-based tour in quality and prestige by attracting top golfers with lucrative paydays. In mid-May, after weeks of rumors and doubts, the PGA Tour banned its players from competing in the LIV Golf Invitational Series in London, the first LIV Golf event.
When the PGA imposed disciplinary measures against golfers who flouted the ban, a wave of top golfers quit the PGA Tour, including Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Brooks Koepka, Abraham Ancer, and Louis Oosthuizen. Last week, Bubba Watson, winner of two majors, added his name to the LIV Golf roster.