Tiger Woods turned down between $700 million and $800 million to join LIV Golf, the tour’s CEO Greg Norman said Monday night, an offer that towers above the massive reported contracts of other stars who joined the controversial Saudi-funded circuit.
Norman told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that LIV Golf offered Woods “somewhere in the neighborhood” of between $700 million and $800 million, explaining “Tiger is a needle mover.”
But Woods’ extreme wealth puts him on a different plane than other golfers, as Forbes named the 46-year-old a billionaire in June thanks to $1.7 billion in career earnings, the most of any athlete tracked by Forbes, and joining LeBron James and Michael Jordan as the only other athlete billionaires.
Woods is an avowed critic of LIV Golf, saying last month he believes golfers who joined the tour “turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position,” ripping into LIV Golf’s 54-hole, no-cut format. Norman told the Washington Post in June that LIV Golf offered Woods a “mind-blowingly enormous” contract in the “high nine digits.” The Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, has invested billions of dollars into the golf venture, which many view as a way for the country to improve its international reputation considering its history of human rights abuses.
Seven. That’s how many LIV Golf defectors made Forbes’ list of the 10 highest-paid golfers in the world released last week. Mickelson’s $138 million in earnings last year easily led all golfers, buoyed largely by his massive up-front payment from the tour.
Norman’s interview with Carlson comes as LIV Golf becomes increasingly entangled with the political right, particularly former President Donald Trump. Last week, LIV Golf hosted a tournament at Trump’s country club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and Trump appeared prominently throughout the event to loud cheers from the crowd.