Greg Norman appeared on Fox News Nation with Brian Kilmeade yesterday and tried to make the case for LIV and the golf tour he’s trying to legitimize. It comes on the same day the Scottish Open reportedly announced that LIV golfers would not be welcome in their tournament, a warm-up for the 150th Open Championship to be held at the Old Course in St. Andrews.
Greg Norman sees a world of golf where players can play wherever they want: “I saw the value in what the product was really about, for the players, serving the fans, growing the game globally, that which, by the way, to be a global player as a professional golfer. So from there I said, yeah, it’s a great platform and it’s a business operation. We’re there for a reason, to play golf and grow, golf at a successful level and on behalf of the players, they are independent contractors, give them the opportunity to be able to expand their wealth as they see fit.
OK, Greg did a tour for the players, by the players, where the players play by their rules. Keep in mind that the signing bonuses all of these players have received require them to participate in all 9 LIV Tour events spread across the globe. But Greg insists their program is better for golfers: “Maybe our platform is a bit better because it gives them more time with their families, like there was Charles Schwartzel with his wife and kids. children.” (After winning the first LIV event in London) “Their platform gives them the opportunity and it’s a choice. This is not an escape tour. It’s a choice. Players have the choice to play with us and continue playing with the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour, or the Japan Tour or any other tour.
That’s not entirely true though. The PGA Tour has indefinitely suspended all golfers who have signed with LIV. The DP World Tour (European Tour) partners with the PGA Tour and is still in the process of defining its policy. They allow LIV players to participate in the BMW event in Germany this week. The Scottish Open seems to tend not to allow them. No word on the Open Championship, and that’s the next big announcement in this saga.
Brian Kilmeade asked about the Saudi money that funds the LIV, asking Greg Norman if he was hesitant to do business with them: “Not at all, because golf is a force for good. And to be honest with you, what I saw in Saudi Arabia, the European PGA Tour since 2019 had a golf tournament, the Saudi International which still exists since 2019. And during this Saudi International, there were players from the PGA Tour who received rights and waivers to play there.
We know the money that supports LIV isn’t going anywhere. We can be pretty sure that PGA Tours’ stance on players leaving to play LIV won’t change any time soon. What remains to be seen is whether golfers who go to play 54-hole tournaments in very short courses will keep players sharp enough to compete if and when they return to play against the best players in the world.
One final thought, after we stop talking about how much money all these players took, will we care enough to watch them compete?