Some players have reportedly signed on for nine-digit deals, including Dustin Johnson at “around” $125 million and Phil Mickelson at roughly $200 million.
The league has been described as an attempt at “sportswashing” by Saudi Arabia following its government-ordered killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
Mickelson, who described the Saudi government as “scary motherfuckers” despite calling LIV Golf a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” back in February, continued to defend the Saudi-funded series last month.
In a press conference at The Open Championship on Tuesday, Woods said LIV Golf players were risking their chances to ever play for a major again, ESPN reported.
“I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position,” Woods told reporters.
Woods’ comments came after the golfer reportedly declined a “mind-blowingly enormous” deal, LIV Golf Investments commissioner and CEO Greg Norman told The Washington Post in June. The New York Times reported that Norman, a two-time winner at The Open, wasn’t invited to this year’s event in St. Andrews, Scotland, due to his involvement in the league.
In an interview with Australian Golf Digest, Norman called the decision “petty.”
However, Woods said he believed deciding to bar Norman from this year’s tournament was the “right thing.”
“Greg has done some things that I don’t think is in the best interest of our game, and we’re coming back to probably the most historic and traditional place in our sport,” Woods said.
The decision by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews came a month after the PGA Tour suspended players involved with LIV Golf.
The Department of Justice is also investigating the PGA Tour over behavior toward its Saudi-backed competition, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.