Tiger Woods reportedly turned down 9-figure deal to join ‘Sportswashing’ Saudi golf tour

Legendary golf champion Tiger Woods has turned down a nearly $1 billion contract to play in a controversial new Saudi-funded tournament circuit, the operation’s CEO has told The Washington Post.

“Woods turned down a deal that was incredibly huge; we’re talking high nine figures,” LIV Golf Investments commissioner and CEO Greg Norman told The Post in an article earlier this week.

Norman said Woods and Jack Nicklaus, who he said had been offered some $100 million, rejected the deals because neither wanted to jeopardize what the Post called “generational legacy.”

Woods – who is already one of the world’s few billionaire athletes, according to Forbes – could not immediately be reached for comment.

The LIV Golf tour venture has been branded a ‘sportswashing’ operation aimed at bolstering Saudi Arabia’s reputation amid human rights abuses and the 2018 murder and dismemberment of the Washington columnist Post Jamal Khashoggi. US intelligence has determined that Khashoggi’s killing was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Mickelson said the Saudis were “scary motherfuckers to get involved with” during an interview earlier this year with journalist Alan Shipnuck, his unauthorized biographer.

“We know they killed Khashoggi and they have an awful human rights record. They execute people there for being gay. Knowing all that, why would I even consider it? even?” Mickelson asked. “Because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Mickelson took a golf break this year following his comments, but is now playing in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament in London.

Mickelson was promoting the tournament at a press conference Thursday when guards ejected Shipnuck, who was there to face the golfer again.

But other reporters pressed Mickelson about his participation. “At the end of the day, you might be seen as a Saudi stooge,” one said.

The PGA Tour on Thursday indefinitely suspended all 17 LIV Tour golfers from its tour, including Mickelson, who reportedly made the switch for $200 million.

Sponsors also let down some of the golfers who joined the LIV circuit.

The Saudis plan to hold one of the LIV tournaments at former President Donald Trump’s course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

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