How much is Tiger Woods worth to LIV Golf?
A whole hell of a lot.
On Monday, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman confirmed that his league offered “in the neighborhood of $700-800 million” for the 15-time major champion’s services. The offer, Norman said, came in LIV’s earliest days, well before he joined the league.
“They’d originally approached Tiger before I became CEO,” Norman said. “So yes, the number is somewhere in that neighborhood.”
Norman’s comments came in a pre-recorded interview Monday with conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson. The two men were spotted together this weekend alongside former President Trump at the third LIV Invitational Series event, which was hosted at Trump’s course in Bedminster.
In the interview, Norman and Carlson discuss Woods, who Norman said was the first target of the league’s Saudi financiers.
“That number was out there before I became CEO, and that number’s been out there, yes,” Norman said. “Tiger’s a needle-mover, right? Of course you’ve got to look at the best of the best.”
Woods’ offer dwarfs the $200 million signing bonus reportedly given to Phil Mickelson, and even outweighs the total sum LIV has given its players to date (a number estimated at around $650 million, according to Forbes). But for Woods, who recently became golf’s first billionaire, it wasn’t even worth entertaining.
The 15-time major champ has been an opponent of the new league since late last year — an attitude that hasn’t softened as LIV has risen in prominence over the last several months. At the Open Championship in July, Tiger offered his most vocal criticism yet for LIV, admonishing the new league’s structure, its players, and even its competitive spirit.
“As far as … the players who have chosen to go to LIV and to play there, I disagree with it,” Woods said. “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.
“I just don’t see how that move is positive in the long term for a lot of these players, especially if the LIV organization doesn’t get world-ranking points and the major championships change their criteria for entering the events,” he continued. “It would be sad to see some of these young kids never get a chance to experience it and experience what we’ve got a chance to experience and walk these hallowed grounds and play in these championships.”
Yeah, the number is somewhere in that neighborhood.
As of Tuesday, LIV is still awaiting word from the Official World Golf Ranking on whether its application into the system has been accepted. In golf, World Ranking points are the primary currency by which players earn their way into the major championships.
Should LIV’s application be approved, it would be a tremendous win for the league’s legitimacy, allowing players to earn points for their inclusion in LIV events. Should it be rejected, the majority of the league’s players will have to seek alternative avenues in order to qualify for the majors, or come to terms with missing them altogether.
Of course, that’s only a problem for those who took the money — a group that, after Monday, decidedly does not include Tiger Woods.