Tiger Woods’s lucrative LIV offer clarified by the report: Not far from it.
First, the CEO Greg Norman said Tiger Woods offered him nearly a billion dollars to join LIV Golf. Afterward, LIV Golf’s CEO returned the claim, saying the offer was the sum of the potential value based on part ownership of the LIV franchise.
Saudi Golf Federation CEO Majed Al Sorour further clarified the alleged offer in a report.
“It’s not about direct money. I never offered him the money, far from it,” Sorour told reporter Zach Helfand. Part of that compensation would be fairness in the league and restrictions on sponsorship deals.
That’s more in line with Norman’s comments in late August when he denied his own claim that Woods was offered between $700 million and $800 million to join the breakaway league.
What Greg Norman told to media
“That’s the way it is,” Norman told Fox Sports Australia. “It’s not about monetary value. We never offered this monetary value to Tiger Woods. That’s the reality.”
In a report by The New Yorker, Sorour said that the Saudi Public Investment Fund has funded LIV until 2025, and the franchise model is how LIV plans to see a return on the investment. But many players, including Rory McIlroy, are skeptical of the numbers for each team, given that LIV has yet to secure any outside sponsors or a US television deal.
“People have to remember that golf is a niche sport,” McIlroy told The New Yorker about LIV’s business plan. “You only get four golfers. And I get it, some MLS teams are worth $700 million. But it’s all tied to the economics of the league, and right now the league doesn’t have any economics.”
Norman initially told Tucker Carlson in an interview taped at a LIV Golf event at Trump Bedminster that Woods’ initial offer was “in the neighborhood of $700-$800 million” in the early days of LIV.
“That number was out there before I became CEO, and that number was there, yes,” Norman said. “Tiger is a needle puller, isn’t he? Yes, you must absolutely choose the best of the best.
This number would exceed other reported values of LIV contracts. Phil Mickelson is said to have received around $200 million in signing bonuses, while Dustin Johnson reportedly received $125 million.
Tiger Woods has not commented on any deal
Woods has not publicly commented on any deal LIV Golf has offered him and has repeatedly reaffirmed his commitment to the PGA Tour while condemning the fledgling tour.
“As far as … players choosing to go to LIV and play there, I don’t agree with that,” Woods said at the Open Championship. “I think what they’ve done is they’ve turned their backs on what got them into this position.
“I do not think how this move is a long-term positive for many of these players, especially if the LIV GOLF organization doesn’t get World Ranking points and the major championships change their entry criteria for events. It would be sad to see some of these young kids never get the chance to experience it and to experience what we get a chance to experience.