Watch CBS News

Tiger Woods turned down offer around $700-800 million to play in LIV Golf, CEO Greg Norman says

Saudi Arabia-funded golf event sparks debate
Saudi Arabia-funded LIV golf tournament sparks controversy 05:19

Tiger Woods rejected an offer around $700-$800 million to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series, CEO Greg Norman said. 

Fox News' Tucker Carlson asked Norman, a former No. 1-ranked golfer, about whether Woods turning down an offer in that range was true. Norman said the number came before his time as CEO, but admitted the proposal was in that ballpark. 

"Look, Tiger's a needle mover, right?" he said in interview that aired Sunday. "So, of course, you're going to look at the best of the best. They had originally approached Tiger before I became CEO, so, yes, that number is somewhere in that neighborhood."

As Woods reached billionaire status in June, the Washington Post reported he turned down a "high nine digits" offer to play in the inaugural LIV Golf tour. 

The 150th Open - Day Two
Tiger Woods rejected an offer worth around $700-800 million to play in the LIV Golf series, according to CEO Greg Norman.  / Getty Images

The league has been mired in controversy since it kicked off this summer. It poached stars such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka from the PGA Tour and paid them huge fees for joining and big payouts for winning. LIV Golf is backed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who U.S. intelligence officials concluded in 2018 authorized the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Last week, former President Donald Trump held a LIV Golf tournament at his club in New Jersey, prompting families of 9/11 victims to call out Mr. Trump and the golfers participating. 9/11 families even released an ad that said, "I am never going to forgive the golfers for taking this blood money." 

When asked by Carlson about why his tour has been "offensive" to American golf fans, Norman, who is Australian, replied, "I don't know." 

"I really don't care," he said. "I just love the game so much and I want to grow the game of golf." 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.