Hatred was disgusting:’ Greg Norman sounds off on LIV critics in new interview Amanda Balionis Said

By | July 6, 2024

Hatred was disgusting:’ Greg Norman sounds off on LIV critics in new interview Amanda Balionis Said

Greg Norman is still angry about the treatment of pro golfers who joined LIV Golf.

We still have no word on the progress (or lack thereof) in negotiations between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabia PIF, which finances LIV Golf. And while LIV CEO Greg Norman isn’t waiting to plan for the future, he still has one foot stuck in the warring past, as he revealed in a new interview.

Sitting down with Bloomberg News, Norman talked in detail about the current state of LIV and his vision for the years to come, but he also dipped back into the controversial origins of the upstart league, and the hurdles they faced from the rest of the golf world.

“There was a lot of headwinds in the beginning because the monopolists really controlled the game on a global basis,” Norman told Bloomberg. “And we came along with a platform or a business model that could work side-by-side within the ecosystem.”

Despite the criticism he and his Tour faced in the media, Norman conversely claimed that he faced no such resistance to LIV in person.

“Nowhere in my entire journey in the last three years since I’ve been CEO and commissioner [of LIV Golf] has someone come up to me and said, ‘What you are doing is wrong.’ And I think that’s a powerful enough testament of saying that our product is our product and our product is received with open arms by many.”

But he also threw a thinly-veiled shot across the bow of the PGA Tour, saying, “By a few who want to stop us for all the wrong reasons, they haven’t been able to sustain their position in the game of golf. What we have done brilliantly is injected more capital into the game of golf. Golf is finally looked on as an asset class.”

Norman saved his strongest words for the early critics of LIV Golf, especially those criticizing the first wave of pros who joined up, calling the treatment of those players “disgusting.”

“And I compliment the boys who came on, the first movers. They came on with a massive amount of headwinds,” Norman said. “The vitriol and the hatred was just disgusting, to be honest with you, considering what these guys have done in the game of golf and how they’ve carried the game of golf and the institutions they represented, was disgusting.”

As for the future, Norman sees LIV taking control of the game of golf outside of the U.S. and pointed to LIV’s venue lineup as evidence of their success in that pursuit.

“We started out a couple years ago doing about nine and five [venues] — nine in the U.S. and five international. And now that’s flipped. So the international scene, the global scene has opened their arms to us in a significant way. The USA is getting there, but the globe has opened up their arms.

“So ultimately, what we’ll end up doing is taking the game on a global basis.”

Despite Norman’s confidence, the future of LIV Golf is very much up in the air. Until negotiations on an official agreement between the PGA Tour and the PIF is finalized, we won’t know how LIV will fit into that picture.

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