Last updated on .From the section Golf
Tiger Woods turned down in the region of $700m to $800m to join the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series, says chief executive Greg Norman.
A host of top players have joined the breakaway tour, which Woods said at last month’s Open he disagreed with.
In an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Norman confirmed the 15-time major champion was offered about £575m to £650m to join LIV.
“That number was out there before I became CEO,” said Norman.
“Tiger is a needle-mover, right? So of course you’re got to look at the best of the best. That number is somewhere in that neighbourhood.
“They had originally approached Tiger before I became CEO.”
American Woods, who maintained his allegiance to the PGA Tour, said at St Andrews he does not “see how that move is positive in the long term for a lot of these players”.
He also defended the R&A’s decision to rescind former winner Norman’s invitation to festivities celebrating the 150th Open Championship.
“Greg has done some things that I don’t think is in the best interest of our game,” said Woods.
Norman said the PGA Tour is a “monopoly” that “just wants to shut us down whatever way they can”.
“They’ll use whatever leverage point they can to shut us down,” the Australian said in the interview that aired on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ on Monday.
“They’re not going to shut us down because the product speaks for itself.”
He also discussed the criticism that LIV players are receiving from the tour’s connection to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
“That blows my mind,” said Norman. “Sponsors, by the way, who spend billions of dollars in Saudi Arabia.
“The PGA Tour has about 27 sponsors, I think, who do 40-plus billion dollars’ worth of business on an annual basis in Saudi Arabia.
“Why doesn’t the PGA Tour call the CEO of those organisations (and say), ‘I’m sorry we can’t do business with you because you’re doing business with Saudi Arabia?’ Why are they picking on the professional golfers?”