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Greg Norman: Asian Tour series has nothing to do with revenge against PGA Tour

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One of the biggest stories in golf over the past few months has been the chatter about a new “breakaway golf league”. Last week, Greg Norman was named CEO of LIV investments. The company has recently announced a 10-year, $200 million commitment to create 10 new full-field Asian Tour events to be held throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

There are still many details that are unknown to golf fans, but what we do know is the league will be a 10 tournament series and will targeting the game’s biggest stars. Norman’s tournaments are expected to attempt to attract professional golfers with massive guaranteed money for teeing it up in the event.

Many have speculated that Norman may have created this “breakaway league” as an act of revenge against the PGA Tour. Back in the mid 1990’s Norman attempted to create his own “breakaway league” and argued that golf’s biggest stars weren’t getting their fair share of Tour earnings.

The idea flamed out, as the stars weren’t willing to go against the Tour’s wishes. However, this time around there seems to be some more interest from the stars as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Rickie Fowler all have expressed at least some interest in the Tour alternative.

Despite the rumblings, Norman insists that this has nothing to do with “revenge” against the PGA Tour, telling Golf Digest Australia:

“No, it’s not that way at all. I can categorically say this is not a direct attack on the PGA Tour. It’s for the betterment of the game of golf, pure and simple. 

There’s been a lot of commentary about this being all about me getting even with the tour. This idea has been around for a long time.”

With the PGA Tour also reported to be considering a series of autumn events with big prize money, no cuts and appearance money based on FedEx Cup standings, the Australian further told the publication:

“Isn’t that their fiduciary responsibility, to be doing that every year?” Norman added. “Shouldn’t that be the precedent they set, rather than being reactionary to somebody else’s proposal?

If that story is indeed true then it’s great news that the PGA Tour is doing that, truly it is. It tells you that maybe, just maybe, this whole LIV Golf Investments project is the competitor that’s strong enough to show the world that there are two avenues you can take [in professional golf].

Who knows, maybe there are three avenues or even four? I don’t care. All I know is, if you have a good, solid business plan and you can present it and execute it in the best interests of the game… hallelujah!”

Regardless of the motivation, monitoring how the “breakaway golf league” shakes out over the coming months should be fascinating.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Pingback: Greg Norman praises ‘rebel’ players ready to compete in controversial Saudi International – GolfWRX

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

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

  4. Pingback: ‘Feels like we’re in body suits in really hot heat’ – LPGA star on Saudi International dress code – GolfWRX

  5. tom

    Nov 5, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    Bitter, overrated, under achieving, choker and irrelevant.

    • B

      Nov 9, 2021 at 9:46 am

      Bitter, maybe. Under achieving, sure. But you can’t be number one earth for 331 weeks and also be called overrated.

  6. Sumtingwong

    Nov 4, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    “When one say it not about money, it about money.”

    -Fortune Cookie

  7. Pingback: Brooks Koepka explains why he is not a fan of TrackMan – GolfWRX

  8. Busta Nuck

    Nov 4, 2021 at 11:45 am

    I have nothing for or against Greg Norman. I wish this tour the best of luck. I hope it brings another element.

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

  10. Oscar Levant

    Nov 3, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    Norman is one of those people who can’t understand why everyone hates him when everyone else can’t understand why anyone would like him.

    • Gerald Teigrob

      Nov 4, 2021 at 1:04 pm

      I wasn’t sure for a while there but I have come back to respect and value his opinion. You speak for yourself…not for me! Hmm…where do I fit in with everyone else?

  11. Jack Nash

    Nov 3, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Just because the PGA sole his idea years ago for a World Tour and created the WGC is just a coincidence I guess.

    • gwelfgulfer

      Nov 3, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      Because no other leagues have had something like this before, so he created an entirely new thing you’re saying?

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Greg Norman praises ‘rebel’ players ready to compete in controversial Saudi International

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There has been much speculation as to whether the new Greg Norman-led Asian Tour will be able to snipe some of the world’s best golfers during the 2022 season.

As reported by Golf Digest Australia, it appears Norman is confident in doing just that.

Yesterday, organizers of the Saudi International, which is set to take place at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club from February 3-6, confirmed 25 of the golfers who will be making the trip to Saudi Arabia.

The list of stars is quite long and headlined by Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Dustin Johnson. Additionally, many of golf’s European stars will be joining the field, including Adam Scott, Tyrrell Hatton, Xander Schauffele, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Casey.

In response to their commitment, Norman praised the “rebel” players for standing up to what he called “anti-competitive threats” in a memo sent to the golfers:

“I want to share my undivided support and endorsement for the stance taken in announcing your participation in the Saudi International,” he wrote.

“You are standing up for your rights, as professional athletes, and for what is right and best for the global development of the sport of golf.

“Without this change, you will never realise your individual and collective value, or elevate the game to the levels it deserves. Simply put, the anticompetitive threats and actions these professional bodies have taken are designed to prevent fair competition, limit the game’s growth, and harm your ability to realise your true value. 

“I wanted to reach out directly to share the respect I have for you and the strength of your actions, and also to voice the level of support you have from so many sectors of the industry, who are greatly encouraged by your leadership and the new horizons in golf’s future.”

The Saudi International will be played directly opposite to a brand new DP World Tour event, the Ras al Khaimah Championship, scheduled to take place in the UAE the same week.

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Golf pioneer Lee Elder passes away at age 87

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One of the pioneers against segregation in golf, Lee Elder, who will be mostly remembered for his appearance as the first black golfer to take part in The Masters, was reported to have died on Sunday, aged 87.

Having moved to Los Angeles at a young age, Elder took jobs at local golf courses before being encouraged and tutored by Joe Louis and Ted Rhodes before making his mark in the United Golf Association Tour for African-American players, at one stage winning 18 of 22 tournaments.

He reached the PGA Tour in 1968, losing a play-off to Jack Nicklaus at Firestone but always faced an uphill battle against the prejudice that existed.

Per Golf Channel’s report, during a tournament in Memphis one of his opponents, Terry Dill, saw a spectator pick his ball up and discard it, only for him to receive death threats at his hotel.

Further to that and similar episodes, at the 1968 Monsanto Open, Pensacola, Elder was amongst many black players forced to change in the car park as members would not allow non-white players in their clubhouse.

Six years later, Elder was to win in Pensacola, paving his way to that first initiation to The Masters, and whilst he received “up to 100 death threats” he confirmed some 40 years later that, “Every green I walked up on, the applause was just tremendous, I mean every one of the people shouted, ‘Go, Lee! Good luck, Lee!’”

In 1979, Elder became the first black player to qualify for the Ryder Cup and became a crusader and spokesman for injustice against racism at golf clubs, as well as speaking out against social discrimination and forming the Lee Elder Scholarship Fund, aiding low-income families seeking a place at college.

Elder eventually became a member of the PGA Champions Tour winning six of his first 22 starts and a total of nine tournaments.
As Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters, Elder was on hand to witness the cheers. “You would have thought I was winning the golf tournament,” Golf Channel report Elder to have said. “To be there, to see what Tiger did, that meant the world to me.”

Indeed, Tiger himself stated that “I wasn’t the pioneer. Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder and Teddy Rhodes paved the way,” said Woods. “I was thinking about them and what they’ve done for me as I was coming up the 18th fairway. I said a little prayer and a thanks to those guys. They are the ones who did it for me.”

Last April Elder was appointed an honorary starter (alongside Nicklaus and Gary Player) for the 85th Masters declaring that it was ”one of the most emotional experiences that I have ever witnessed or been involved in…..it is certainly something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Masters chairman Fred Ridley gave Elder the ceremonial first-tee honours while adding that Elder will “make history once more, not with a drive, but with his presence, strength and character.”

Lee Elder is survived by his wife, Sharon, and will surely go down in history as one of the most influential players to break down racial barriers within the sport.

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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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