Whether you’re Tom Cruise or Mother Theresa, everyone’s got a price. But apparently, it’ll cost more than three commas for Tiger Woods to abandon the PGA Tour and join LIV Golf. At least according to the Saudi-backed rebel league’s current CEO Greg “The Shark” Norman.
Appearing on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Norman – who himself is a former PGA champion – was prompted by the Fox show’s eponymous host about the specific figure LIV Golf offered Tiger Woods. Carlson asked whether it fell within the US$700 to US$800 billion range (AU$1 billion to AU$1.15 billion range), to which the Aussie golfing great simply responded:
“That number is somewhere in that neighbourhood.”
Norman added: “That number was out there before I became CEO.”
“Look, Tiger is a needle mover, right? So of course you’re got to look at the best of the best.”
While the asking price is surprising by virtue of scale alone – for reference, Tiger Woods has only pocked US$121 million (AU$174 million) in career earnings from the PGA; US$1.7 billion (AU$2.44 billion) including off-course earnings – the rejection is anything but.
The 46-year-old living legend has consistently been critical of LIV Golf players and Greg Norman himself, both of which he’s accused of “turning their back” on the sport.
“Greg has done some things that I don’t think are in the best interest of our game,’’ Tiger Woods stated last month during the 150th British Open.
“I know what the PGA Tour stands for and what we have done and what the Tour has given us, the ability to chase after our careers and to earn what we get and the trophies we have been able to play for and the history that has been a part of this game.”
“I know Greg tried to do this back in the early 90s. It didn’t work then, and he’s trying to make it work now. I still don’t see how that’s in the best interests of the game.”
In the same interview in which he confirmed Tiger Woods turned down a billion-dollar contract from LIV Golf, Greg Norman asked Tucker Carlson why the tour is deemed “so offensive” amongst Americans – golfing spectators and golfing talent alike – despite the inclusion of numerous US pro golfers; and the fact the tour’s second US event was recently hosted by former President Donald Trump.
“What are they mad about?” Carlson asked Norman.
“I don’t know. I really don’t care, quite honestly,” replied Norman.
“I just love the game of golf so much and I just want to grow the game of golf. We at LIV see that opportunity not just for the men but for the women.”
“We at LIV see it for NCAA and younger generations. We at LIV see it as a pathway to opportunities for these kids to experience a new world out there. LIV is the future of golf.”
A line has definitely been drawn in the sand.