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#pounditThursday, January 26, 2023

Articles tagged: Greg Norman

Greg Norman has interesting message for rival Rory McIlroy about LIV

Greg Norman at a LIV Golf event

Sep 3, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Greg Norman CEO of LIV Golf before the second round of the LIV Golf tournament at The International. Mandatory Credit: Richard Cashin-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy has bashed LIV Golf at nearly every turn and has been particularly contentious towards Greg Norman. But that won’t stop Norman from extending an invitation to the 33-year-old.

LIV Golf CEO Norman spoke with Bunkered for an interview that was published in issue 198 of the magazine. In the interview, Norman was asked whether he would allow McIlroy to join LIV.

“Our door is open for everybody,” said Norman. “We’re not the PGA Tour. We’re not like that. We exist for the players, so we will always have an open door, whether that’s for Rory or Jordan Spieth or Justin Thomas or whoever.”

Norman’s stance is unsurprising. He’s trying to attract talent and strengthen his league. McIlroy is a popular, well known golfer who would make the league more competitive.

Of course, McIlroy has vowed his allegiance to the PGA Tour and has no interest in joining LIV. But Norman can see past rivalries to do what is in the best interest of his league.

Interestingly, both McIlroy and Tiger Woods have said LIV should move on from Norman as their CEO. Despite their calls for Norman to lose his job, The Shark remains in his position.

Rory McIlroy shares what Greg Norman did to set him off

Rory McIlroy on the course

May 30, 2019; Dublin, OH, USA; Rory McIlroy looks on during the first round of the 2019 Memorial golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Few people have been bigger critics of LIV Golf and Greg Norman than Rory McIlroy.

The four-time major champion spent much of the year bashing LIV Golf whenever he got the chance. He was one of their loudest and most frequent critics. It began when he took aim at Phil Mickelson. He continued to take shots at other golfers who were departing.

Then in June, McIlroy got personal with LIV Golf CEO Norman.

Why did he go on the offensive with Norman and LIV? McIlroy recently provided the background for the situation.

McIlroy talked with Paul Kimmage of the Independent and shared where things went wrong with Norman.

McIlroy first spoke out against a potential rival league in 2020, which probably set things out on the wrong foot. But McIlroy says Norman was nice to him and offered support after the Irish golfer choked at the 2011 Masters. Norman could relate to McIlroy at the time because of his 1996 Masters meltdown.

Then after watching a documentary on Norman’s 1996 Masters, McIlroy texted the Shark a nice note.

“Greg, I just watched your documentary on ESPN. I thought it was fantastic. It must have been very tough to do that. Hopefully, it reminds everyone of what a great golfer you were,” McIlroy wrote Norman.

Norman wrote back with a pleasant message, and McIlroy thought they were on a good basis. But he was wrong.

Norman gave an interview to The Washington Post where he said McIlroy had been “brainwashed” by the PGA Tour. McIlroy was incensed after that.

“I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to make it my business now to be as much of a pain in his arse as possible,’” McIlroy said. “And that’s basically what I’ve done since.”

Just last month, McIlroy said that Norman needed to step down as CEO in order to have progress between both leagues. McIlroy still isn’t taking it easy on Norman.

LIV is said to be targeting a new CEO. Nothing has materialized yet, but they could have a desire to move on from Norman too.

Tiger Woods thinks LIV needs to drop Greg Norman as CEO

Greg Norman at a LIV Golf event

Sep 3, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Greg Norman CEO of LIV Golf before the second round of the LIV Golf tournament at The International. Mandatory Credit: Richard Cashin-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy said recently that he does not believe the PGA Tour and LIV Golf will be able to work through their differences as long as Greg Norman remains in charge of the Saudi-backed league, and Tiger Woods agrees.

Woods, who withdrew from the Hero World Challenge this week due to a new injury, was asked on Tuesday if he believes the PGA Tour and LIV Golf can coexist. He said he does not think that can happen as long as Norman is CEO.

“Right now as it is, not right now, not with their leadership, not with Greg there and his animosity towards the tour itself,” Woods said, via ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. “I don’t see that happening. As Rory said, and I said it as well, I think Greg’s got to leave and then we can eventually, hopefully, have a stay between the two lawsuits and figure something out. But why would you change anything if you’ve got a lawsuit against you? They sued us first.”

LIV Golf and several golfers filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour earlier this year, claiming the PGA Tour illegally suspended them. The PGA Tour then filed a countersuit claiming LIV Golf has interfered with contracts it had with its existing members.

One of the many shots Norman has taken at the PGA Tour came over the summer, when the Tour announced sweeping changes that will allow top players to earn more money. Norman accused PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan of following LIV’s lead. The 67-year-old later said McIlroy, Woods and others should be “thankful” LIV has given them the opportunity to earn more money on their own tour.

A recent report claimed LIV is pursuing a well-known CEO to help steward the league for the next few years.

Rory McIlroy has harsh advice for Greg Norman

Rory McIlroy on the course

May 30, 2019; Dublin, OH, USA; Rory McIlroy looks on during the first round of the 2019 Memorial golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

LIV Golf may be in the process of trying to replace Greg Norman as the face of the league, and Rory McIlroy thinks that would be a wise decision.

A report last week claimed LIV is pursuing a well-known CEO to help steward the league for the next few years. The 67-year-old Norman has frequently made headlines for his combative attitude toward the PGA Tour, and LIV may be looking to move away from that. McIlroy told reporters ahead of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Tuesday that he believes Norman has to go.

“Greg needs to go. He needs to exit stage left,” McIlroy said, via BBC’s Iain Carter. “He’s made his mark but I think now is the right time to say you’ve got this thing off the ground but no one’s going to talk unless there’s an adult in the room that can actually try to mend fences.”

One of the many shots Norman took at the PGA Tour came over the summer, when the Tour announced sweeping changes that will allow top players to earn more money. Norman accused PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan of following LIV’s lead. The 67-year-old later said McIlroy, Tiger Woods and others should be “thankful” LIV has given them the opportunity to earn more money on their own tour.

McIlroy on Tuesday credited Woods for growing the game.

“I’ve said this a million times: Tiger is the reason that we are playing for as much as we are playing for,” he said. “Tiger is the reason that the stature of our game is where it is. The generation of Tiger and the generation coming after Tiger have all benefited from him and his achievements and what he’s done for the game of golf.”

McIlroy said back in September that he believes LIV and the PGA Tour should stop squabbling and try to coexist. He obviously feels that cannot happen as long as Norman remains the Saudi-backed league’s CEO.

Report: Greg Norman could be replaced as LIV Golf CEO

Greg Norman at a LIV Golf event

Sep 3, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Greg Norman CEO of LIV Golf before the second round of the LIV Golf tournament at The International. Mandatory Credit: Richard Cashin-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Norman has been the very public face of LIV Golf, but he could be moved aside and replaced by a new CEO in the near future.

The Telegraph’s James Corrigan published a story on Thursday regarding the future leadership for LIV. Corrigan says that LIV is pursuing Mark King to be their CEO.

King is a former CEO of TaylorMade, a golf equipment maker. He formerly was the CEO at Adidas and is currently the CEO of Taco Bell.

King is a former college golfer who maintains a high interest in the sport and is a scratch golfer. Corrigan says King has attended several LIV events this year.

Not only does King have a history of success at each of his stops as a CEO, but LIV reportedly feels that they need a calmer figure than the combative Norman to help steward the next few years for the league. King could give them the more experienced, level head that they need to land a TV deal.

A September article published by firepitcollective.com said that King believes LIV will be established and accepted as a power league within the next five years.

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.

Presidents Cup captain responds to Greg Norman via Twitter

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 took to Twitter on Thursday to wish Trevor Immelman and his squad good fortune in the Presidents Cup, but the International Team captain was not exactly flattered by the message.

The International Team has eight rookies this year. That is because several of the top international players in the world have been banned by the PGA Tour after they signed deals with LIV Golf. Norman, of course, is the CEO and commissioner of LIV. Still, he wanted to wish the International Team luck, and he did so with a very egotistical tweet.

Norman made sure to mention how he was the captain of the only International Team to win a Presidents Cup. Immelman did not exactly thank the two-time major champion for the support.

Obviously, there is a lot of hostility there. Norman is the face of LIV Golf, and those who are still associated with the PGA Tour are not happy with him. Norman was not even invited to one of his own events this year, so it is no surprise Immelman does not want his endorsement.

Greg Norman asked not to attend golf event he founded

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 founded the QBE Shootout in 1989 and has hosted the charity event every year since, but he will not be in attendance this year. That is because the LIV Golf CEO and commissioner has been asked to stay home.

This year’s QBE Shootout, which is a 54-hold tournament with two-man teams, will be held at the Gold Course at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla., from Dec. 9-11. The course is one of the many Norman designed. On Tuesday, Norman revealed in a lengthy Instagram post that he has been asked not to attend the event due to his venture with LIV.

“Sadly, after 33 consecutive years of playing in and hosting every Shootout tournament — a co-sanctioned PGA Tour event — since I founded it in 1989, this year I have been asked not to attend,” Norman wrote. “Why one might ask? Perhaps it is because I am helping to give golf a new heartbeat, creating new value and delivering a new product that is loved by players, fans and broadcasters alike. And in doing so, finally giving players their rights as independent contractors to benefit from their performance and brand. In some people’s mind this is too disruptive and evolution is perceived as a bad thing. I disagree – competition breeds excellence.”

Norman went on to mention how the Shootout events — formerly known as the RMCC Invitational and then Shark Shootout — have raised more than $15 million for charity. He said those charities remain “of the utmost importance” to his family and that he has decided not to attend the QBE Shootout so the focus can remain on them.

You can see the full post below:

QBE Shootout director Rob Hartman said the tournament had been in discussions with Norman for months about his role. He told the Naples Daily News that the decision was eventually made for Norman to “step back and really let the focus remain on our tremendous charitable partners.” While Norman said in his Instagram post that he decided not to attend, it is clear that was not the preferred outcome for him.

As ESPN’s Mark Schlabach notes, Norman had a meeting with PGA Tour players at the 1994 Shark Shootout to discuss the possibility of starting a World Tour. The idea was for the top 30 or 40 players in the world to compete in events that featured large purses. That shows how long he has been trying to launch a league like LIV. The PGA Tour said at the time that it would block members from competing in any such events.

Norman has continued to be defiant toward the PGA Tour, which we saw with the recent shot he took at commissioner Jay Monahan. The issues between LIV and the PGA Tour have shown no signs of fizzling out.

Greg Norman takes jab at PGA Tour commissioner

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

PGA Tour players are going to have opportunities to earn more money than ever beginning next season, and Greg Norman clearly feels he is responsible for that.

Sweeping changes were announced by the PGA Tour on Wednesday. The biggest ones pertain to the amount of money players — and in particular “top players” — can earn. A top player will be defined as a player who finishes in the top 20 of the Player Impact Program. The money that will be paid out by the PIP has been doubled from $50 million to $100 million.

There will also be 12 “elevated” events beginning in 2022-23. The purses for those events will be at least $20 million, and the top 20 players will play in all of them. Those players will also play in The Players Championship, the four majors and three other events of their choosing, meaning they will commit to a 20-event schedule. The goal is to have the PGA Tour’s top players committing to more events together and increasing the stakes.

Norman, the CEO of LIV Golf, responded to the changes by sharing a meme on Instagram. The two-time major champion agrees that the PGA Tour and commissioner Jay Monahan are now trying to mimic the new Saudi-backed golf league.

The changes for the PGA Tour came after Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and other top golfers held a players-only meeting last week.

Money has been the primary reason golfers have chosen LIV over the PGA Tour, so the new changes should help the Tour retain some of its talent.

Greg Norman had epic response to Rory McIlroy’s PGA Tour wins jab

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

Rory McIlroy secured his 21st career PGA Tour win during June’s RBC Canadian Open, and he took the opportunity to take a shot at Greg Norman. Norman returned fire on McIlroy just over a month later.

McIlroy shot 19-under for the win, which moved him out of a four-way tie for 35th on the all-time Tour wins list. One of the golfers with whom he was tied with was Norman.

McIlroy appeared to point out that he had moved past Norman during his post-event interview with CBS’ Amanda Balionis.

Norman, the CEO of LIV Golf, issued a strong retort to McIlroy’s apparent shot in an Australian Golf Digest interview published on July 27.

“I take it as a compliment that he wanted to beat my 20 PGA Tour wins,” Norman said. “His next goal should be to win more than 91 tournaments globally or to maintain No.1 in the world for more than 331 weeks.”

During his career, Norman had a total of 127 victories, including 57 in international competition. McIlroy has 30 career wins and eight international victories. His reign as the top golfer in the world lasted for 106 weeks compared to Norman’s 331, the second-most all-time behind Tiger Woods.

McIlroy has been outspoken in his support for the Tour, and equally as willing to attack those who have defected to the Saudi-backed league.

Despite any attacks, Norman has been successful in luring away big-time names from the Tour, including Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, and reportedly this year’s Open Championship winner.