Major Winner Claims Will Zalatoris Turned Down $130m LIV Golf Offer

Fred Couples says Will Zalatoris turned down a huge $130m offer from LIV Golf in order to stay on the PGA Tour

Zalatoris smiles at the camera
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A big one that got away from LIV Golf seems to have been Will Zalatoris - who turned down a huge offer of $130m to remain on the PGA Tour, according to Fred Couples.

Couples shares an agent with Zalatoris, and says that the American turned down two offers from LIV to remain on the PGA Tour.

The initial offer came in at a healthy enough $35m, but it was followed by a hugely increased figure of $130m to go and play in Greg Norman's new tour.

Speaking at a PGA Tour Champions event, Couples says that Zalatoris turned down both offers to stay loyal to the established major tour in world golf.

“I don’t know anything about the LIV Tour, except they overpay all of them,” Couples is quoted as saying by the Orange County Register.

When talking about Zalatoris, Couples added: “Money is zero object. I give Will a lot of credit; he wants (to stay with) the PGA Tour.”

Couples was hugely critical of several LIV Golf players during his appearance in Newport Beach, where he lives, labelling Phil Mickelson as a "nutbag" and Sergio Garcia as a "clown" for their behaviour when joining the Saudi-backed tour.

“If you’re giving Phil Mickelson $200 million at age 52 to shoot 74 and 75, God bless you," Couples added.

LIV Golf made an immediate splash in the golf world by signing Phil Mickelson for around the $200m mark, before adding the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith, Patrick Reed and Ian Poulter, among others.

fred couples

Fred Couples had some harsh words for LIV Golf stars

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite only claiming his first PGA Tour win last August, Zalatoris has very much been in the 'next big thing' category ever since he finish second in the Masters on his Augusta debut in 2021.

That came on the back of him finishing T6 at the 2020 US Open, and the 26-year-old has been a constant threat in the Majors since then, despite his well-documented putting stroke.

He finished T6 at last year's Masters, lost a playoff to Justin Thomas at the PGA Championship and finished second behind Matt Fitzpatrick at the US Open, and all that publicity attracted the attentions of LIV Golf.

According to Couples, though, Zalatoris turned down the fortunes offered to him to remain on the PGA Tour. Golf Monthly has contacted Will Zalatoris' management for comment.

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.