Players With Wide Draft Ranges
Covering the impact of coronavirus on the sports world
Greg Norman has been making headlines for the better part of three months for his role in the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series. Leading this rival tour from infancy to its first event, which is set to take place from June 9-11 in London, it came to light on Monday that Norman was apparently not the Saudi’s first choice to serve as figurehead.
Instead, that honor goes to the legendary Jack Nicklaus. In an interview with The Fire Pit Collective, the 18-time major winner revealed that he was offered a substantial amount of money to join the rival league but ultimately turned it down.
“I was offered something in excess of $100 million by the Saudis, to do the job probably similar to the one that Greg [Norman] is doing,” Nicklaus said. “I turned it down. Once verbally, once in writing. I said, ‘Guys, I have to stay with the PGA Tour. I helped start the PGA Tour.'”
Nicklaus annually plays host to the PGA Tour with the Memorial Tournament taking place at his golf club — Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. He is often seen on the 18th green offering words of encouragement and shaking hands with players as they walk off the golf course.
When asked what advice he would give to Phil Mickelson, the Golden Bear said, “My advice to Phil? My advice to Phil would be to be patient. The world is a very forgiving place. But he’s the one he has to decide where he wants to play and what he wants to do.”
Mickelson, along with Norman, has been the poster child for the LIV Golf Series, as he has been the biggest name tied to the league. The six-time major champion has been away from the public spotlight since his controversial comments pertaining the Saudi Arabia government surfaced in February.
Lefty withdrew from the PGA Championship field last Friday, prolonging this absence and giving way to more speculation about his next moves. The 51-year-old joins a short list of players to not defend their major crown the following season as it remains uncertain when we’ll next see Mickelson compete.
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