The multimillion-dollar LIV Golf Series, backed by the Government of Saudi Arabia, has been surrounded by controversies since its inception. The project makers suffered another major blow when Tiger Woods turned down LIV's offer to feature in the event.
Woods reportedly said no to an offer worth $1 billion, stating that even a hefty paycheck would not sway him to play in the LIV series.
Tiger Woods, who was recently inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, was supposed to be the face of the LIV series, which was supposed to rival the American PGA.
Woods’ clarification on his decision came after LIV CEO Greg Norman confirmed that the pro golfer was offered a ludicrous amount of money to participate.
Speaking at The Open Championship last month, Tiger Woods slammed the project and LIV CEO Greg Norman’s vision.
“Greg has done some things that I don’t think are in the best interest of our game, and we’re coming back to probably the most historic and traditional place in our sport. I believe it’s the right thing.”
Calling out some high-profile players who had accepted the paycheck to play in the LIV series, Tiger Woods said that it will not be in the “best interests” of the sport.
“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.”
Tiger Woods slams players who choose to play for LIV
Speaking at the 2022 Open Championship in Scotland, the world’s richest golfer said that his contemporaries had turned their backs on the PGA Tour.
“I just 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? You’re just getting paid a lot of money up front and playing a few events and playing 54 holes. They’re playing blaring music and have all these atmospheres that are different."
What is the LIV Tour?
The LIV Tour is backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. The PIF announced the controversial series as the biggest golf tour in history, with a prize money of $250 million.
The maiden season of the series began in June. The controversy bew up when it was revealed that the players who participate in the series will get a large sum, despite their performance. Soon, players like 2021 PGA Tour champion Phil Mickelson began accepting LIV’s offer.
Following this, the PGA suspended the players who appeared in the Saudi-backed league. The golfers challenged this decision by filing an antitrust lawsuit, which they lost.