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#pounditSaturday, December 3, 2022

Greg Norman slams hypocritical Rory McIlroy, PGA Tour

Greg Norman looking ahead

June 10, 2022; St. Albans, UK; LIV golf chief executive Greg Norman looks on during the second round of the inaugural LIV golf invitational golf tournament at the Centurion Club. Mandatory Credit: Paul Childs-Action Images/Reuters via USA TODAY Sports

Greg Norman had quite a response for Rory McIlroy and the PGA Tour, accusing them of behaving hypocritically with their responses to golfers who defect for LIV.

Norman is the CEO of LIV Golf, the upstart golf league that began its first year of play in 2022. LIV has attracted numerous current and former stars, like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Cam Smith and Bryson DeChambeau. Top golfers have been approached by LIV and offered large sums of money to join the league. Some have accepted the offers, while others have declined.

McIlroy has been the most vocal defendent of the PGA Tour, criticizing some of his colleagues for leaving.

Norman joined Talk TV show “Piers Morgan Uncensored” and said McIlroy was displaying hypocrisy when criticizing players for leaving for LIV. In Norman’s estimation, McIlroy made a similar career move when he left the European Tour to join the more lucrative PGA Tour in the first place.

“Well, my message is, Rory, you’re an independent contractor,” Norman told Piers Morgan. “You have the right to make your decision. Remember, Rory started on the European tour. Then Rory decided to leave the European tour to go play where all the money is, where I went to play, to the PGA Tour.”

McIlroy has taken personal shots at Norman amid their rivalry, so things have been heated between them.

Norman told Morgan that players didn’t have any options in the past, but now they do.

“Don’t begrudge the other players for making a decision, that is a rightful decision under their independent contractual rights, to go and do it. It’s just a shame that people have taken this stance, when you look back over a period of time, they’ve pretty much done the same thing themselves,” Norman said.

Norman also responded to those who criticize people associated with LIV because the league is funded by the Saudi Arabian government.

“The hypocrisy coming out of this is so deafening it’s ridiculous,” he added. “The PGA Tour has title sponsors that have a great relationship, a working relationship, for a commercial opportunity with the Saudi Government, with PIF [Saudi Public Investment Fund].”

Norman believes the PGA Tour’s focus on the Saudi-backed aspect of LIV is a cover for their real issue: that LIV Golf is threatening the PGA Tour’s monopoly. LIV Golf has actually joined an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour where they will attempt to make that argument.

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