The 15-time major tournament sided with PGA Tour after refusing an offer from LIV Golf and has been critical of those rebels who have joined the Saudi-backed series
Saudi Golf chief Majed Al Sorour has denied claims that sport legend Tiger Woods refused a deal worth £600million to join the breakaway series.
Woods, aged 46, could have been a key player in helping turn perceptions for the series, but reportedly refused an offer worth $700-800m. Al Sorour told the New Yorker that the total sum apparently also including sponsorship deals.
He said: “It’s not straight-out money. I never offered him that money, not even close to that.” This is in contradiction to LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman who had previously agreed that Tiger had been offered around £600m to join the controversial series.
Norman appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Show and was asked if the heavily rumoured £573m-£655m offer to Woods being rumoured was correct. The Australian confirmed the figure was ‘somewhere in that neighbourhood’.
Norman said: “That number was out there before I became CEO. That number has been out there, yes. Tiger is a needle mover. So course you got to look at the best of the best. LIV Golf originally approached Tiger before I became CEO so yes, that number is somewhere in that neighbourhood.”
Norman has since backtracked on his comments and claimed that reported figure is “not the cash value” of the offer made to Woods.
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman with Open Champion Cameron Smith
Woods alongside Rory McIlroy have led the fightback for the PGA Tour arranging a meeting of fellow Tour professionals to address the LIV Golf threat.
The pair have also announced a new golf league named TGL in direct competition to LIV Golf which will begin in January 2024 and see six teams each consisting of three players and will be played in a ‘custom-built venue’.
Ahead of the Open Championship in July, Woods criticised the players who had made the switch to LIV Golf and accepted millions in signing on fees.
Tiger Woods has criticised players who have joined the LIV Golf series
He said: “I disagree with those who have gone to LIV, I think they have turned their back on what allowed them to get to this position. Some players have never had a chance to even experience playing on one of the tours.
““They have gone right from the amateur ranks to that organisation and never really had a chance to feel what it is like to play a schedule or play in big events. I don’t understand it.
“What these players are doing for guaranteed money, what is the incentive to practice? What is the incentive to go out there and earn it in the dirt?”