That Greg Norman was not a monster of sympathy among his colleagues has been known for some time. That the Shark was the sine qua non for a truce between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour frankly not. It was Tiger Woods himself who asked for the head of the Australian.
Tiger Woods, statements
In the Bahamas for the Hero World Challenge (which he won’t play due to plantar fasciitis), Woods confronted the CEO of LIV Golf: “I think Norman needs to go. It is the only way to negotiate a peace agreement between the circuits.
Now, there is too much animosity, anguish. It is impossible to negotiate if there are ongoing legal battles ”. There are many battles going on. In addition to complaints in one court and counter-complaints in another there are commercial battles worth millions.
And behind them also disagreements at the level of principle (for example: “Is it right that world golf should be organized on a single circuit?”). Rory McIlroy also lined up against Greg Norman in unsuspecting times, adamant in his choice to play only and always on the PGA and DP World Tour and to condemn those who chose the Arab SuperLega.
Position fully shared by Tiger. “The players who have chosen LIV Golf have shown contempt and lack of respect – he said – towards a circuit that made a large loan during the health emergency to support its players”
We are facing an axis between Northern Irish and Californian. An agreement that, starting from a question of principle (PGA yes, LIVGolf no), coincidentally translated into something commercial. The two founded TMRW Sports, a tech company with a progressive approach to golf.
Both rejected Arabian Nights offers from LIV Golf. In 2024 the start-up TMRW (with Hamilton among the lenders) will give life to The Golf League, an alternative way of conceiving golf. The formula will include six teams of three golfers each, with 15 matches to be played on Monday evenings in covered stadiums.
TGL has already joined two big names in professionalism such as Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm. The Saudis don’t seem to be swayed by Tiger’s and Rory’s demands. Greg Norman shouldn’t be immolated in the name of who knows what reconciliation between the two circuits (DP World is now queued to the PGA positions).
In October, the hypothesis of a Greg Norman “destined for another position in the group” with the former CEO of TaylorMade, Mark King, in his place, had circulated but the managing director of LIV Golf, Majed Al-Sorour, has downgraded everything ” in an unfounded rumor”
After all, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF certainly has no liquidity problems, let alone leadership. There is no shortage of petrodollars and the sportwashing experimented with golf could soon also affect football: there are rumors of Saudi Arabia’s interest in a 2030 World Cup organized jointly with Egypt and Greece.
To demonstrate the unwillingness to negotiate, just think that a few hours after Tiger Woods’ words LIV Golf has announced three new stages in the 2023 calendar. From 30 June to 2 July in the Spanish Sotogrande will be the Real Club Valderrama – scene of the 1997 Ryder Cup – to host a LIV Golf competition.
Another new venue will be in Mexico: from 24 to 26 February the LIV Golf Mayakoba will take place on the El Camaleon course in Mayakoba. Other stops will take place in Singapore (Sentosa) and Australia.
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