How Much Did Some PGA Tour Players Turn Down From LIV Golf?

Tiger Woods was offered a fortune and Hideki Matsuyama and Jon Rahm also reportedly had huge offers on the table from LIV Golf before the merger

Tiger Woods, Hideki Matsuyama and Jon Rahm turned down LIV Golf deals
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The war is over, but there’s still plenty to sort out between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour – with one major talking point being the reintegration of the so-called rebels back onto the main tour.

And in doing so, those players who stayed loyal to the PGA Tour want to see that loyalty rewarded, with Jay Monahan saying himself that it would be a major priority of his to make sure that happens.

So while the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka may have to stump up some of their LIV Golf cash to get back in their Tour’s good books – those loyal remainers will want some sort of financial recompense.

Rory McIlroy was not one of those though, as he revealed during his recent epic press conference that he’d never actually been offered any money by LIV Golf.

But just how much did some of them give up to ensure they remained on the PGA Tour playing in the blue chip league at the biggest and most historic events in golf? 

We don't have definitive numbers on some with these negotiations always done in private, but some of them reportedly passed up on a small fortune…

Tiger Woods - $700-$800m

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods during a practice before the 2023 Masters

Tiger and McIlroy defended the PGA Tour

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There have been plenty of reports about just what Tiger Woods was and wasn't offered to join LIV Golf - but Greg Norman himself said they'd offered him around $700-$00m.

"Tiger is a needle-mover and of course you have to look at the best of the best,” Norman said. “So they had originally approached Tiger before I became CEO. So, yes, that number was somewhere in that neighborhood.”

Whether Woods even entertained the offer is another story, but it wasn't going to stop the ambitious LIV bosses from at least presenting the offer.

Tiger's an exception of course, and has a huge wealth already so whether he'd be seeking some sort of reward for his loyalty and backing the PGA Tour remains to be seen.

Hideki Matsuyama - $400m

2021 In Golf

Matsuyama would've been a huge coup for LIV in Asia

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Behind Tiger nobody has seemingly been offered more money to join LIV than Hideki Matsuyama, with a reported $400m put on the table for the Japanese star.

LIV recognised that as the best Asian player in the world right now he could open up a huge market for them, but the Masters champion decided against the move having been "torn between the money and his legacy" when weighing up his options.

Jon Rahm - $400m

John Rahm with the trophy after his 2021 US Open victory

Two-time Major champion Rahm was offered a huge amount by LIV

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Fellow Masters champion Jon Rahm is reported to have been offered around the same as Matsuyama to jump ship and join LIV Golf even though he's been a big defender of the PGA Tour himself.

The Spaniard hasn't been critical of players making the move though but as a golf historian he has always put legacy and winning Majors and big events first.

However, with Brooks Koepka thriving in Majors despite playing on LIV, Rahm may have been wavering as some reports suggest he was deep in talks and thinking of possibly making the switch just before the merger was announced.

Will Zalatoris - $130m

Will Zalatoris takes a shot during a practice round before the 2023 Masters

Zalatoris turned down $130m to join LIV

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According to Fred Couples, Will Zalatoris turned down $130m to join LIV Golf - which was a hugely improved offer after an opening gambit of $35m was flat-out rejected.

Couples, who was busy mouthing off against anyone and everyone at LIV at the time, said: "I give Will a lot of credit; he wants (to stay with) the PGA Tour.”

Zalatoris has since had back surgery so has missed plenty of time on the sidelines and may just wish he'd have taken the money if he doesn't get back to the form that saw him regularly challenging in Majors.

Other players reported to have LIV offers

It was a surprise Patrick Cantlay never joined LIV Golf as he was one of the most strongly linked players right from the start, and never really denied an interest in moving.

However, it never materialised and he stayed on the PGA Tour with the likes of Justin Thomas, who did hold talks with Norman but never really warmed to the idea.

Jordan Spieth surely must have had an offer but he also never really entertained it while Scottie Scheffler is another PGA Tour loyalist who also seems incredibly happy just to be playing on Tour and doesn't strike you as a man who would go in search of such wealth.

Perhaps a list of exactly who and exactly how much was offered by LIV Golf will emerge in time, but we know certainly that several players seem to have lost out on huge life-changing sums only for the PGA Tour to merge with the Saudi backers anyway.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.