Greg Norman defends LIV, Saudi-Backed Money They’re Taking

Greg Norman appeared on One Nation with Brian Kilmeade yesterday and tried to make a case for LIV and the golf tour he is trying to make legitimate.

This comes on the same day that the Scottish Open reportedly announced that LIV golfers would not be welcome in their tournament, a warmup for the 150th Open Championship that will be held at the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Charl Schwartzel and Greg Norman hold LIV trophy
Charl Schwartzel of South Africa holds the winner’s trophy and poses for a photo with Greg Norman, LIV Golf CEO, after day three of the LIV Golf Invitational at The Centurion Club on June 11, 2022, in St Albans, England.

Norman sees a world of golf where the players can play where they like: “I saw the value of what the product was really about, for the players, serve the fans, growing the game on a global basis, which, by the way, of being a global player as a professional golfer. So, from there I said, yes, this is a great platform and it’s a commercial operation. We’re in it for a reason; to make golf and grow, golf on a successful level, and on behalf of the players, they’re independent contractors. Give them an opportunity to be able to expand their wealth at their choice.”

OK, Greg made a tour for the players, by the players, where players play by their rules. Keep in mind, the signing bonuses that all of these players received require them to play in the 9 LIV tour events spread out around the world. But Greg insists their program is better for the golfers.

“Maybe our platform is a little bit better because it gives them more time with their family like there was Charles Schwartzel with his wife and kids [after winning the LIV first event in London],” he said. “Their platform gives them the opportunity and it’s a choice. It’s not a break-away tour. It’s a choice. The players have a choice to play with us and to continue on playing with the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour, or the Japanese tour or whatever other tours.”

A general view is seen as Charl Schwartzel (2nd L) of Stinger GC holds his trophy alongside Majed Al Sorour (L) CEO of Saudi Golf Federation, his excellency Yasir Al Rumayyan (2nd R) and Greg Norman (R),CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf, during day three of LIV Golf Invitational – London at The Centurion Club on June 11, 2022, in St Albans, England.

That’s not entirely true, however. The PGA Tour has suspended all of the golfers that signed with LIV indefinitely.

PGA SET TO ANNOUNCE DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST LIV GOLFERS

The DP World Tour (European Tour) partners with the PGA Tour, and are still figuring out its policies. They are allowing the LIV players to play in the BMW event in Germany this week. The Scottish Open seems to be trending toward not allowing them. No word on the Open Championship, and that is the next huge announcement in this saga.

Brian Kilmeade did ask about the Saudi money that is financing the LIV, asking Greg Norman if he had any hesitancy going into business with them: “No not at all, because golf is a force for good. And to be honest with you, what I’ve seen in Saudi Arabia, the European PGA Tour since 2019 had a golf tournament, the Saudi International that is still in existence since 2019. And during that Saudi International, there were PGA Tour players who were given rights and waivers to go play there.”

‘WE NEED TO CALL OUT HYPOCRISY IN ALL OF ITS FORMS’: TOMI LAHREN

We know that money backing LIV is not going anywhere. We can be fairly sure the PGA Tours’ stance on players who leave to go play LIV is not changing anytime soon. What is yet to be seen, is if the golfers who go to play in 54-hole tournaments in very short fields will keep the players sharp enough to compete if and when they head back to play against the world’s best players.

One last thought, after we stop talking about how much money all these players took, will we care enough to watch them compete?

Written by Bill Graff

Lifelong fan of all things sports and of common sense. I watch a lot of sports, just ask my wife. Go Terps. I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier.

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