While You’re Talking About Mega Millions Tiger Woods Turned Down Almost A Billion Dollars Not To Join LIV Golf | Any Questions About Who The GOAT Is?

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The world was all buying Mega Millions tickets a few days ago, hoping to get a winning ticket for a jackpot of over a billion dollars. Meanwhile, on the other hand, golf great Tiger Woods,  turned down a sum close to that recently from his favorite sport, golf.

In the early phase of the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series, Woods was apparently offered a lot of money to jump on board, and he turned it down. That number was in the range of $700-$800 million, which is more than most would see in their lifetime.

“That number was out there before I became CEO,” said veteran golfer Greg Norman, the current head of LIV. “So that number has been out there, yes,”

Norman is a two-time major winner and part of a consortium of other high-level golfers that have joined the Saudi-Arabia-backed tournament. With players like Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Dustin Johnson, it seemed like LIV was the next big thing in golf; however, it comes at a consequence in the eyes of Woods.

Although the LIV Series features massive guaranteed contracts and a 54-hole format, Woods has decided to stay loyal to the PGA Tour.

“The players who have chosen to go to LIV and play there, I disagree with it,” Woods said at The 150th Open Championship, Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.”

LIV is an eight-event series funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. They reportedly offered Mickelson a purse of $200 million to join the series. For Woods, this is equivalent to a high-level exhibition where getting in competitive shape isn’t a priority because the end-game payout is guaranteed.

“What these players are doing for guaranteed money, what is the incentive to practice?” Woods continued. “What is the incentive to go out there and earn it in the dirt? You’re just getting paid a lot of money upfront and playing a few events and playing 54 holes. I just don’t see how out of 54 holes is almost like a mandate when you get to the Senior Tour.”

However, for others, the LIV Invitational causes a moral quandary. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who runs the Public Investment Fund, is also allegedly accused of ordering the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist for The Washington Post, in 2018. The LIV Golf players have been called “willing stooges of Saudi sportswashing” due to the Gulf kingdom’s “appalling human rights record,” by Amnesty International UK.

These components might also have led to Woods’ decision as he is still the face of golf, and to align with LIV would go against the restructuring of his politically correct athletic brand. Woods has already gone through many personal controversies as a former womanizer who struggled with alcohol and prescription pill addiction. He eventually checked into a rehab facility in 2021.

Although Woods is the most successful golfer in the history of the sport and attracts money like putting, he has a limit to his capitalism when it mixes with competition and potentially human rights.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.