The biggest story in the golf world this year has been the emergence of the Saudi-backed, Greg Norman-helmed LIV Golf and its efforts to pry some of the biggest names in the sport away from the PGA Tour.
So far, the bottomless pockets of the Saudi government’s sovereign wealth fund have been able to lure some significant players, most notably Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau (among current stars) and Phil Mickelson (among names casual golf fans are aware of). However, they have also been rebuffed by a number of young stars, like Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and others, who have stuck with the PGA Tour over the promise of guaranteed purses (but uncertainty about their ability to play in the biggest events in the world, the majors, in the future).
Those stars aren’t the only big names to turn down LIV Golf‘s big money, as Charles Barkley listened to overtures to pry him away from TNT to do broadcasts but ultimately said no. Tiger Woods, the biggest name in golf, has also spoken strongly against LIV Golf, ripping guys who left for the money during his pre-tournament presser at this year’s Open Championship. He put his money where his mouth is too, as Greg Norman confirmed in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that LIV Golf offered Woods well over half a billion to join and he turned them down.
Greg Norman confirms to Tucker Carlson that LIV offered Tiger Woods somewhere in the range of $700 to $800 million to join the tour
— Sam Stein (@samstein) August 2, 2022
Woods, who recently became an “official” billionaire per Forbes, has plenty of money and, unlike Mickelson, doesn’t have a number of outstanding gambling debts he needs to pay off right now. As such, it’s an easy PR win for him (which he needs) to turn down the LIV money and stand up for the Tour, ensuring he continues to rake in money from sponsors, and speak out against LIV which has become quite the lightning rod in and beyond the golf world.
As for Norman, I’m not sure why you’d confirm these details, as it’s not exactly a great look for the tour to have offered that much to Tiger and still get turned down — and really only helps Tiger to confirm the figure. I guess it shows how much money they have to throw around, but that wasn’t really in doubt.