Greg Norman confirmed Tiger Woods was offered "somewhere in the neighborhood" of $700 to $800 million to buck the PGA Tour for upstart LIV Golf in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson that aired Monday night.
Norman narrowed down on the number after Carlson asked what the tour would offer to woo the richest golfer of all time, speculating, "$700 million, $800 million and even a billion or some unknown number" had been rumored.
"Tiger is a needle-mover so of course you have to look at the best of the best," Norman said. "... Yes, that number is somewhere in that neighborhood."
Norman, a Palm Beach Gardens resident, emphasized the offer was "out there" before he joined as LIV Golf CEO.
In a Washington Post interview published in June, Norman stated LIV Golf's offer for Woods was "mind-blowingly enormous; we're talking about high nine digits." Woods, 46, declined the offer and has spoken in support of the PGA Tour.
Forbes estimated Woods' career net worth exceeded $1 billion in June. Woods, who owns a home in Jupiter Island, joined Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only athletes of such distinction.
Carlson attended and hosted interviews at the third LIV Golf event last weekend at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey.
Donald Trump happy to host
Former U.S. president Donald Trump played venue host as well as an 18-hole pro-am at the LIV Golf event last week in the latest chapter of the Palm Beach County entrepreneurs' relationship with the Saudi-backed league.
"I've known Donald for a long time and played golf with him before he was president," Norman said. "I've done golf courses that he's acquired. His passion for the game of golf ... As President it was stars and stripes through his blood, it's the same with golf. He loves it and sees the commercial opportunity golf can give you.
"This week he's been in the background but in the foreground. He's been fantastic. He's not putting himself out in front of LIV. He allows LIV to breathe, which I think is fantastic."
Norman kept a familiar tune in shrugging off much of the controversy that has swept professional golf this summer.
LIV Golf has drawn criticism due to its financial backing by the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Critics have accused the league of serving to bolster the reputation of Saudi Arabia against several international concerns, including the country's human rights practices.
Norman told Carlson much of the blowback was the PGA Tour protecting its "monopoly." He pointed to hypocrisies in critics who overlook Saudi involvement in women's golf with the Aramco Team Series.
He was ever-resolute in his belief in the product of LIV Golf, stating, "LIV is the future of golf."
Eric J. Wallace can be reached at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: LIV Golf: Greg Norman confirms Tiger Woods turned down nearly $1 billion