- Senior college football writer
- Author of seven books on college football
- Graduate of the University of Georgia
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. — As LIV Golf prepares to stage its fifth tournament, which is outside of Chicago this week, CEO and commissioner Greg Norman said the upstart circuit has no desire to talk with the rival PGA Tour about a truce.
LIV Golf, financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has been in a fierce battle with the PGA Tour for the best golfers in the world for much of this year. Norman said he tried to talk to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan in the past about trying to figure out how the leagues can coexist, but Norman says he’s no longer interested in doing so.
“We have no interest in sitting down with them, to be honest with you, because our product is working,” Norman told The Australian in an interview this week.
Monahan has been unwilling to sit down with LIV Golf even after several past major championship winners, including Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson, were lured to the new circuit with signing bonuses reportedly worth as much as $100 million to $200 million.
“That’s why we are where we are today,” Norman said. “We tried awfully hard — I know I did personally for the past year. … When we knew we were never going to hear from them, we just decided to go.”
More than two dozen PGA Tour members have defected to LIV Golf, including a handful who have resigned their memberships. Monahan has suspended players who competed in LIV Golf tournaments without conflicting-event releases. Smith, the third-ranked golfer in the world and reigning Open Championship winner, was among the latest wave of players to leave.
On Aug. 27, LIV Golf joined a handful of its players in their federal antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, in which they claim the PGA Tour has used its monopoly power to quash competition and unfairly suspend players for competing in LIV Golf events.
Norman insists that LIV Golf’s plans from the beginning was to be an “additive” to the existing golf ecosystem.
“It was always an additive to all tours,” Norman said. “This notion [that] we’re trying to destroy tours is not true. The PGA Tour is trying to destroy us, it’s as simple as that.”
Source: Read Full Article