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Greg Norman to spearhead Saudi-backed company with 10 new events planned on Asian Tour

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On Friday, Greg Norman was unveiled as the new CEO of a newly formed company, LIV Golf Investments, which is backed by the Private Investment Fund, which operates on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia.

The new group has unveiled plans for a series of 10 new events to be staged annually on the Asian Tour over the next 10 years, representing a total commitment of over $200 million USD to “support playing opportunities and prize funds.”

The new league hopes to get underway in 2022, with new events planned to take place across Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

In a statement, Greg Norman said

“This is only the beginning. LIV Golf Investments has secured a major capital commitment that will be used to create additive new opportunities across worldwide professional golf. We will be a cooperative and respectful supporter of the game at every level, and today’s announcement alongside the Asian Tour is the first example of that.

“I have been a staunch supporter and believer in playing and developing golf in Asia for more than four decades. The Asian Tour is a sleeping giant and we share ambition to grow the series and unlock what we believe is significant untapped potential. We see our promotion of these new events as a vital first step in supporting emerging markets, creating a new platform, rich with playing opportunities that create valuable player pathways.”

Per the release, several high-profile C-Suite executives have already been appointed, though no names have been made public.

The announcement follows the striking of a new 10-year partnership between the Asian Tour and Golf Saudi, the organisers of the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, which will now see the event become the flagship tournament on the Asian Tour, with an increased prize fund of $5m. 

The current Asian Tour CEO Cho Minn Thant hailed the new development as a major milestone for pro golf, saying

“This is the single biggest development in the history of the Asian Tour and a major milestone for professional golf. The opportunity will secure unprecedented new playing opportunities, establish new player pathways, allow us to compete commercially with other sports, and enhance our social agenda.

“We are particularly excited at the prospect today’s landmark announcement brings to the amateur game, providing new inspiration to aspiring players through a new level of top-flight professional competition in the region.”

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Pingback: Asian Tour Chief: Misconception over new Saudi investment, but Greg Norman does want future ‘Super League’ – GolfWRX

  2. Pingback: Nick Faldo’s ‘perfect player’ list; explains Tiger omission to unhappy golf fans – GolfWRX

  3. Pingback: Greg Norman: New Asian Tour series has nothing to do with revenge against PGA Tour – GolfWRX

  4. Pingback: Greg Norman rejects notion that new Asian Tour series is revenge against PGA Tour – GolfWRX

  5. Distance Compression Dude

    Oct 31, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    Smylie Kaufman would be all over that like a bad rash

  6. Old school

    Oct 30, 2021 at 11:55 am

    MONEY MONEY MONEY..Sad that golf is now regulated full heartedly to money and more money. Guess i’m just an old school thinker who remembers when golf was about honor and gameship and not about money. Times change and society does to..The greed of money has changed our sport forever..and the world.

    • geohogan

      Oct 30, 2021 at 2:27 pm

      Add ten more tournaments for pros, means calibre of players diluted in all tournaments as a whole. Beneficiaries are the mediocre players who couldnt make the current tours.

  7. British chap

    Oct 29, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Say what you want, but there is more to life than the American way.

  8. CrashTestDummy

    Oct 29, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    Like Greg Norman or not, in my opinion it is a good business decision and good for pro golf to have more pro tournaments with some big sponsors. First, the PGA tour and Korn Ferry tours are super impacted. Too many good players and not enough spots. Korn Ferry players make very little money. More money into pro golf and more tournaments even in Asia would help. Asia is a big growth area. There is a lot of money is Asia.

    • gwelfgulfer

      Oct 30, 2021 at 7:34 pm

      Blood money events are a good thing?

      • geohogan

        Nov 2, 2021 at 11:00 am

        You heard it,too? Greg is bringing Squid Games to golf tournaments.

    • geohogan

      Nov 2, 2021 at 8:58 am

      Korn Ferry players today will become the pros on the Saudi tour, leaving openings for lesser players on the Korn Ferry tour, which will likely desolve with the dilution of talent.

      Cash for Norman, and like Fox Golf, tour folds after a couple of years… Korn Ferry and Saudi tours gone… good business!

  9. Norman Of Greg

    Oct 29, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Yeah, Greg is still red a s s e d about the Tour Stealing his FEDEX Cup idea. Should be interesting and certainly popcorn worthy.

  10. Imafitter

    Oct 29, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Pros are independent contractors. If they don’t like the way the PGA Tour pays them, then demand a change or go somewhere else. I hate crying multi-millionaires. Like a private club, the PGA Tour can say anyone can join, pay the dues, but you can’t belong to another club. Just as another club can open the membership to anyone and allow them to belong to other clubs too. So if the PGA Tour says you can play there but you’re banned from the PGA Tour for life, they have all the rights to do that in protecting their club or product. But who really cares about human rights? NO ONE DOES! Golfer’s clubs, shoes, clothing, balls, bags, carts…ALL COME FROM CHINA. Virtually everything in your home comes from CHINA. So don’t tell me you care about the Saudi’s treatment of other’s, as well as China’s, until you buy 100% USA.

    • Jeff

      Oct 29, 2021 at 8:56 pm

      If you continue extrapolating and look at who sponsors the PGA tour events ( big pharma, insurance companies, bailed out banks, etc) you should probably stop watching all together. ????

    • stephen

      Oct 30, 2021 at 4:04 pm

      You are exactly right, great comment.

  11. mo

    Oct 29, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    The PGA Tour made Gregory. This guy sure is spiteful ever since Tim Finchem put him in his place.

  12. America First

    Oct 29, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    In bed with the headchoppers geno-ciding the yemenis. G t f o of my country Greg, carpetbagging P o s.

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19th Hole

‘OMG’ – Pro golfers go wild over Tiger Woods’ swing video

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If you are a fan of golf, there’s a good chance you have seen the most recent video of Tiger Woods hitting a golf ball on the range posted to his twitter account yesterday.

As ecstatic as golf fans are about seeing Tiger Woods effortlessly swing a club again, players on Tour seem to be just as fired up about Tiger’s video.

Here we’ve rounded up some of the best tweets from Woods’ fellow PGA Tour players:

The PGA Tour is in a great place, with many young superstars on the rise and interest in the game at all time high. Even still, yesterday was a reminder that nothing moves the needle in the sport of golf like Tiger Woods. If more evidence is needed, the video Woods tweeted currently has 6.8 million views in under 24 hours.

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Brooks Koepka signs with Srixon/Cleveland

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Srixon and Cleveland Golf have today announced that Brooks Koepka has joined its tour staff.

As part of the new deal, the four-time major champion will play a Srixon driver, Srixon irons, Cleveland wedges, a Srixon golf ball, as well as carry a Srixon Staff bag.

The 31-year-old began working with Srixon’s Tour Department earlier this year and played the brand’s ZX7 irons throughout the 2021 PGA Tour season.

On joining Team Srixon/Cleveland, Koepka said

“I am very excited to join my good friends Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell and Hideki Matsuyama as a Srixon and Cleveland Golf Tour Staff member. I’ve been an equipment free agent for the past few years, so it will be fun to be involved with a company on a daily basis and be able to contribute to the development of their future equipment.

“I put the ZX7 Irons in play in January and it is the best iron I have played on Tour. I look forward to kicking off our new partnership this week in Las Vegas!”

Speaking on the Koepka signing, Rodney McDonald, Vice President of Tour Operations at Srixon, said

“We’re extremely proud to have Brooks come on board as our newest Staff member. He’s one of the best players in the world and brings his major championship pedigree and validation to our brands. We’re excited for Brooks to join the Srixon and Cleveland Golf family and look forward to supporting him out on tour.”

Koepka will make his debut as a member of Team Srixon/Cleveland at Capital One’s The Match on November 26th against Bryson DeChambeau. 

 

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Tour Rundown: Morikawa wins twice on Sunday | Race to CME goes to JYK

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This is it. Really, this is it. This is really it. The soon-to-be-renamed European Tour is done. The PGA Tour is done. The LPGA is done. I’m done. Happy American Thanksgiving. It’s colder than the Canadian one, but a good cold breeze is bracing. It also reminds us to get inside, so that we don’t get sick, or frostbite, or some other malady. It also reminds us to be thankful for things like … shirts that don’t tear when you shoot 74 in the final round and fall from first place to another level of frustration (hypothetically speaking, of course.)

Anyhoo, anyhow, anyway, join us one last time for a running of the tours, which is much, much safer than a running of the bulls.

European Tour: Morikawa wins twice on Sunday

I remember that summer of 2019, when Collin Morikawa and two other college stars made their debuts on tour. The guy with the powerful, funky swing won right away. The other guy, the Nordic one, seemed destined to win soon enough (he would win in February of the next year.) Even though Morikawa won in 2019, pundits assessed him to be third in line to the throne. Two years have passed, and there is no line. the Iron Throne belongs to Morikawa.

The Californian from Cal-Berkeley owns two major titles, six worldwide wins, and his first Order of Merit. I’ve always liked that title. Way better than Race To The Cup or any other moniker out there. I’m bringing it back. Morikawa had a good hold on the European Tour’s season-long race, thanks to his Open title in July and his WGC last February. He came to Dubai with great focus, answering few to none of the pointed questions aimed his way. In contrast, and to his credit, Matt Fitzpatrick wasn’t giving up.

The Englishman wasn’t defiant, but he was gritty. He insisted that, as we all know, the tournament and the season were not over until the flagstick was replaced. Fitz did his part with a 66 on Sunday, moving all the way up to a tie for second with Alexander Bjôrk. At that point, sadly, Fitz was finished. He needed a win.

Who topped him? Morikawa, of course. His Sunday 66 at the Earth Course included five birdies on the inward half, when he simply decided to say By the way, I’m the best of 2021. Here’s my third win to prove it. Morikawa’s swing has zero moving parts that should not be moving. It is modern, but classic, if that is possible. If he chases zero distance over the next fifteen years, and simply plays well from tee to green, he should win five more majors and a few more Orders of Merit around the world.

LPGA: Race To CME goes to JYK

Remember last week when Nelly Korda became Rolex Rankings number one again, despite not playing? Pretty sure that’s about to change again. Jin Young Ko steamrolled the field at Tiburón in Naples. The Original JYK was nine-under on day four, breaking out of a four-way tie for the lead at dawn’s first light.

Nelly? She had 69 for T5. Celine? 68 for T3. Nasa? She gave Jin everything she could handle. Hataoka signed for 64, and her 6th-hole bogey was her only blemish on the day. She matched Ko birdie for birdie, posting nine of her own on the final day. She made up strokes on three of the final four holes. Trouble was, Young Ko did not wilt. She turned in 30 and added three more chirps on the inward half, putting things away at the 17th with her last of the day.

The title was her fifth of 2021, and her 12th overall. Ko hit 63 consecutive greens this week, and is on a runaway-train path to the LPGA Hall of Fame, and it will be a pleasure to watch her do just that.

PGA Tour:  RSM Classic crowns Gooch by a smooch

Talor Gooch knocked on a number of doors this fall, most recently the Fortinet and the CJ Cup. At both events, he finished top-five, but could not break through for the “V.” At Sea Island, Gooch went into the final round with a one-shot lead over Sebastián Múñoz. Feeling balanced, Gooch went out and bookended his opening 64 with the same closing number. He made a pair of birdies on the front, then turned on the juice and recorded four more coming home. No bogeys found his card this day.

Mackenzie Hughes, the 2016 champion at the RSM, went out in 30 to pick up three strokes on Gooch. Feeling his own brand of juice, Hughes posted four more birdies on the back nine, but also stumbled to a bogey at the par-three twelfth hole. He missed long and left, and failed to get up and down for par. When Gooch made three at the same hole, minutes later, the road to victory got easier.

Two unofficial events (Hero and QBE) will take place in December, and the Tour will return to action on January 6th, for two consecutive weeks in the Hawaiian islands.

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