It comes as a complete surprise in learning Jack Nicklaus and not Greg Norman was a first choice to lead the breakaway LIV Golf International Series.
The 18-time majors winning Nicklaus, and now aged 82-years, says he was approached not once but twice by Saudi Golf, and offered $100m to act as their CEO.
That’s some $94m more than golf’s ‘Golden Bear’ earned in his entire on-course golfing career.
“I was offered something in excess of $100 million by the Saudis, to do the job probably similar to the one that Greg is doing,” Nicklaus said in an interview with Fire Pit Collective
“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.’”
The LIV Golf Invitational Series is set to kick-start next month from June 9th to 11th at the Centurion Club, and where it is highly-expected Phil Mickelson will be star-billing.
If so, it is likely to be Mickelson’s first tournament since January, and a first since his highly-inflammatory PGA Tour comments, comments resulting in him standing down immediately from all competition, along with him, and it’s believed, being asked not to attend the Masters and continues to linger with the 51-year-old’s decision late last week, and despite plenty of rear guard intervention by the PGA of America, not to defend the Rodman Wanamaker trophy.
Mickelson will be the first player, and not citing injury, in the history of the PGA Championship not to be defending.
And on that very subject, Nicklaus was also quizzed what advice he would offer Mickelson in the present circumstances.
“My advice to Phil? My advice to Phil would be to be patient,” Nicklaus told Fire Pit Collective. “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.”