Golf legend Jack Nicholas has revealed that he was first approached to be the face of the LIV Golf Invitational Series, not Greg Norman – and was offered over $ 143 million to do so.
In a story published on the Fire Pit Collective website, Nicholas claims that he twice turned down an offer to lead a rebel tour.
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“The Saudis offered me more than 100 million (AUD $ 143m), probably to do something like Greg,” Nicholas said. “I rejected it. Once verbally, once in writing. I said, ‘Friends, I have to stay with the PGA Tour. I helped start the PGA Tour.’
Nicklaus, 82, has a checker history with the PGA Tour although he was one of the players to break away from the American PGA and appointed Joe Deck as the first commissioner of the tour in 1968.
Nicholas was also part of a proposed revolt against the PGA Tour with Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson in 1983, when the trio tried to overthrow the then commissioner of the tour, Dean Biman. Beamon was described as a “power-hungry dictator” who did not have the best interests of the players at heart, although the players were paid more than what was paid by the tour at the time.
The PGA Tour last week declined a release for players who requested to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series, which will stage its first event at Centurion Club outside London from 9 to 11 June.
Phil Mickelson was among the players who requested release for the first LIV golf event.
He has decided not to defend his PGA Championship title in the Southern Hills this week and has not played since the end of January due to his controversial remarks about the tour and alleged human rights violations by the Saudi monarchy.
“My advice to Phil? My advice to Phil is to be patient,” Nicholas Fire told Pitt 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.”
The deadline to request a release is Wednesday for the second Saudi event to be played in early July at Pampkin Ridge Golf Club in Portland, Oregon.
The eight-event LIV series will feature five tournaments played in the United States.
It will include seven regular-season events and a team championship match-play final at the Trump Dorale in Miami from October 28 to 30.
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