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The Greg Norman-inspired, Saudi-backed competitor to the American-based PGA Tour teed off in London this week with a lot of big names. Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Charles Schwarzl, Kevin Na, Louis Oosthuizen, and Lee Westwood are but a few PGA regulars that found greener fairways and deeper wallets in the controversial startup.
However, Tiger Woods is nowhere to be found, despite a staggering influx of cash for the marquee names.
Phil Mickelson reportedly signed for $200 million upfront. Dustin Johnson inked a guaranteed deal for $125 million. As for what Tiger passed up? Greg Normal says it was “mind-blowingly enormous.”
The New York Post is quoted as saying:
“Greg Norman, the creator of the Saudi-backed and controversial golf series, told the Washington Post that Tiger Woods was offered, and turned down, a deal that was “mind-blowingly enormous.” The offer reached into the “high nine” digits, Norman said.”
High nine digits. If Phil Mickelson, not a duffer by any means, could sign for $200 million, it stands to reason Tiger would get more. BUt high nines? Are they talking $700 million? $800 million? Or even $900 million of guaranteed money just to play three rounds of golf each week for a few months?
It indeed boggles the mind.
As for why he turned the money down, there are a few reasons. First, Tiger Woods is already worth around one billion dollars. While he could have doubled that, is money an issue at that point? He just doesn’t need it. Second, his body has been failing him for over a decade. Tiger is the ultimate competitor, and if he can’t compete at a high level then it stands to reason he wouldn’t want to look like a fool hacking his way around the course.
There is a third reason as well, and it’s commendable to be raised by Woods himself. In an interview this past month, Woods addressed a “controversial” comment by Phil and his own reasons for staying with the PGA.
“[Mickelson] has his opinion on where he sees the game of golf going. I have my viewpoint on how I see the game of golf, and I’ve supported the tour and my foundation has run events on the tour for a number of years. I just think that what Jack [Nicklaus] and Arnold [Palmer] have done in starting the tour and breaking away from the PGA of America and creating our tour in ’68 or ’69, somewhere in there, I just think there’s a legacy to that,” Woods said.
“I’ve been playing out here for a couple of years over decades, and I think there’s a legacy to it. I still think that the tour has so much to offer, so much opportunity.”
Mickelson’s controversial comment stemmed from a conversation with his biographer as he discussed involvement with the Saudis (an American ally, by the way, that no one has a problem with and one whom the Biden administration will be begging for oil shortly).
“They’re scary mother [expletive] to get involved with. We know they killed [Washington Post reporter Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
Mickelson went on to say that the PGA Tour has used “manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics” because players had no recourse. He noted that Commissioner Jay Monahan might seem to be a nice person, but without leverage, “he won’t do what’s right.”
Hailey Sanibel fiercely loves freedom. She equally detests evil and stupidity, both of which are out of control in the modern world. She is a regular contributor at The Blue State Conservative.