Nicklaus: 'I was offered in excess of $100m by the Saudis'

Once upon a time Jack Nicklaus was part of a group of golfers who got the PGA Tour up and running, more recently he has been offered bundles of cash to head up the new LIV Golf Invitational Series.

A story in the Fire Pit Collective, by the brilliant journalist Michael Bamberger, explains how Donald Trump missed out on staging this week's PGA Championship and it ends with a conversation with Nicklaus who explained how he could have been the face of the breakaway league rather than Greg Norman.

"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. 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.’”

Almost more staggering was the revelation that Alex Fitzpatrick, Matt's brother and still a student in the States, was offered to be part of the series which would have earned him more than $2m.

Six of the world's leading amateurs were invited and offered starts in all eight events this year before 10 in 2013 and, even by finishing last, they could have pocketed $2.25m.

“I’m pleased Alex did say no. It was a hell of a dilemma for him. He chatted to our parents and then to me. It was a big offer and, to be honest, difficult to refuse. It would have been easy to take it. We don’t come from a background where there was ever money like that. So tempting. But he looked at it, where the finance was coming from and what could happen, and decided to stick to the original plan," Matt Fitzpatrick told the Telegraph.

“He’ll turn pro when it’s the right time for him and, if his ranking improves just a bit in these next weeks on the college circuit, he will go straight to the Korn Ferry Tour. I’m glad about that. It would have been weird if he was on that league, after I’d turned it down.”