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19th Hole

‘You like apples?’ – Greg Norman takes bullish shot at PGA Tour over LIV poll numbers

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CEO of LIV Golf and former superstar Greg Norman took a shot at the PGA Tour via social media on Wednesday.

Sports Illustrated “Morning Read” shared a Harris Poll that indicated younger U.S. golf fans are open to the LIV Golf series despite its controversial source of funding.

Norman commented on social media with a link to the poll while tagging the PGA Tour’s official accounts, saying, “@pgatour you like apples??”

The line is, of course, in reference to a scene in the 1997 classic film Good Will Hunting, and Norman then doubled down on his bullish aim at the tour with a gif of one of follow up lines from Matt Damon’s character:

The results of the Harris Poll were extremely interesting.

According to Sports Illustrated, “Younger Americans are more aware of, more interested in and more open to the LIV tour, according to our polling — and the split is sharp. So while 40% of those 45 years old and younger are familiar with LIV, as opposed to 35% of the overall population, that figure falls to 27% among those aged 55 and over. And while 55% of U.S. adults familiar with the league plan to watch an LIV event, that number rises to more than 7 in 10 (71%) among those aged 18-34.”

The source of the funding for LIV has generated vigorous debate in recent months. The poll results indicated that younger golf fans aren’t as concerned with the Saudi money as the older generation. Among those aware that LIV Golf is funded by foreign government investments, a majority (52%) of those 45 and younger have no issues the arrangement, while those aged 55 and older report far more often that they disapprove.

There were plenty of other interesting results from the polling.

  • Those aware of LIV Golf’s funding sources are nearly evenly split about it (35% oppose the relationship while 36% support it).
  • By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Americans say that professional sports funders’ identities have no bearing on whether or not they watch. “In much the same way that sports fans are able to keep rooting for their team even if individual players have personal issues, it seems that they are willing to suspend judgment about a league even if its sponsors have poor reputations. This leaves open the question, however, of how potent attempts at “sportswashing” could be: If consumers are able to separate sporting events from their sponsors, it could run the other way, with leagues not transferring their positive reputations back to their funders.”
  • Among golf fans aware of the PGA Tour’s suspensions, 45% support the decision.

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69 Comments

69 Comments

  1. Brian

    Jul 20, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    Millennials and Gen Z are the least woke woke people I’ve ever seen.

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  5. Amy Mick

    Jul 14, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    Doesn’t matter if your product is trash. And it is. Your poster boy Mickelson is +20 through two events and the majority of the field is filled with guys competing in the mid ams across the country. It’s minor league senior circuit chip and putt member guest stuff.

    • Will

      Jul 18, 2022 at 9:52 am

      Nothing like -20 under major of a pitch and putt goat ranch but hey why not, it’s the “home of golf” after all

    • Tommy

      Jul 18, 2022 at 4:16 pm

      It’s amazing to watch all the virtue signaling from the media and the PGA Tour regarding the LIV golf’s funding from the Saudis while there is virtually nothing said about the LPGA’s involvement with them. Did it occur to any of these pundits that the PGA Tour is also doing business with dozens of companies who much more than collaborated with the Nazi regime. Those companies not only helped the Nazi war effort but also used slave labor from concentration camps, etc., in many cases working the prisoners to death. These are not only German companies who profited from their business with the Nazis, but American companies as well. A very short list of the companies involved are some that we hear from in their advertising during every commercial break; Ford, DuPont, IBM, Allianz, Hugo Boss, Volkswagen, Bayer, Siemens, Chase Bank, GE, GM, BASF, Standard Oil/Chevron, Kodak and many others. How do they reconcile this fact and claim to hold some sort of moral high ground over LIV Golf. I’m not particularly happy with what LIV is doing to the game, but this is straight-up hypocrisy at its worst. Clean up your house before condemning someone else’s business practices.

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  9. Greg

    Jul 13, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    Norman can back out of LIV or he’ll end up in 2 Hefty bags.

  10. Barry

    Jul 12, 2022 at 11:29 pm

    Don’t care if LIV is the last golf shown on planet earth, I’ll never watch one second.

    • NFG

      Jul 13, 2022 at 1:58 pm

      Nobody cares fairy Barry.

    • Willl

      Jul 18, 2022 at 9:54 am

      Yeah and the pga tour awarding those terrible Saudi backed petrodollars

    • Jock Hutchison

      Jul 19, 2022 at 10:37 am

      This I agree with 1000%.

    • Tiger

      Jul 24, 2022 at 10:52 am

      Oh no! I’ll inform them of your momentous decision.

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  12. Pingback: McIlroy softens LIV stance: Saudi billions can ‘ultimately be a good thing’ for the sport – GolfWRX

  13. Paul Runyan

    Jul 3, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    I’m sure he won’t be playing much golf for awhile, The Don.

    He’s going to be too busy running for 2024. Or, hiding in Israel. (humor) sort of…

    Who cares anyway about the WUT. The Washed Up Tour

  14. Paul

    Jul 3, 2022 at 12:10 am

    What I like about LIV is I can watch it on YouTube the day of the event. PGA tour also doesn’t pay everyone that plays.
    If Saudi money funding this is bad, then China money funding anything at all is so much worse. All most people can tell you about Saudi Arabia is they killed a journalist. What people can tell you about China is they are an admitted slave state with over 1 million slaves, and that’s just the start.

    • Bob

      Jul 4, 2022 at 7:33 pm

      And were complicit in 911.

    • Thomas Woodward

      Jul 5, 2022 at 6:50 pm

      You ARE 100% correct! What many people don’t know about the CCP. They have sex slave camps where they are raping middle eastern women everyday in their attempts to GROW a ‘superior race” much like Nazi Germany during the dictatorship of Adolph Hitler. The Chines people are inherently BEAUTIFUL, (I’m married to one), but the Chinese Government is the WORST oxygen wasters on the planet…

      • Funkadelic

        Jul 11, 2022 at 1:05 pm

        Chinese people aren’t very attractive. As Asians go the Japanese and South Koreas are by far a better liking people.

      • Himmler

        Jul 12, 2022 at 12:01 pm

        Muh Nazis.
        You’re a fool.

    • geohogan

      Jul 10, 2022 at 9:33 am

      Agreed, everyone should dump whatever, China funds
      Prime example is the over $1 trillion in US treasury bonds owned by China…
      Who is your DADDY, America.

  15. Paul Booij

    Jul 3, 2022 at 12:06 am

    Nah, they are all almost the same. Your’s look cooler, I will admit.

  16. Mark

    Jul 2, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    LIV Tour: Bonesaws and Class!

  17. Mark

    Jul 2, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    That Saudi scud missile every Saturday night must be intense, Greg. Good for you.

  18. Goobers

    Jul 1, 2022 at 5:47 pm

    It is boring golf and a shotgun start. Basically a solo member guest with team points along the way.

    • Gerry T

      Jul 1, 2022 at 8:31 pm

      Actually,compared with the PGA arrogant tour, the LIV is actually the breath of fresh air I needed. Watching PXG commercials is about like watching wet paint dry. It’s like PXG owns the Golf Channel. Yawn!

      • Bob Parsons

        Jul 2, 2022 at 7:41 pm

        Ya but nobody makes clubs like we do!

        • Paul Booij

          Jul 3, 2022 at 12:05 am

          Nah, they are all almost the same. Your’s look cooler, I will admit.

    • Thomas Woodward

      Jul 5, 2022 at 6:55 pm

      CLEARLY, your IQ is about -50 and it SHOWS…

      • Prime21

        Jul 5, 2022 at 9:25 pm

        Says the guy who hit post again because he didn’t see his post quickly enough for his liking. Multiple posts about IQ levels & syndromes, stop trying so hard bro. LIV is WEAK, players are washed. If you’re SO into it why haven’t you been to an event in person yet? Go watch the Diluted Tour with no cut, team events, last place pay, probably all things you believe in. Also, don’t watch any of the majors this year either cause the players are boring, the format is old, & its just not your kind of event. Get a grip man.

  19. Jolter

    Jul 1, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    At this point, Norman should just hold his tongue. Even though the Saudi’s have deep pockets, he has nothing to crow about until 2-3 years down the line if his league is not only still in existence, but flourishing.

  20. Leo

    Jul 1, 2022 at 11:28 am

    I dislike Greg Norman being involved more than who funds the tour.
    Money is money these guys are independent contractors who just hit the lottery

    • Gerry T

      Jul 1, 2022 at 8:33 pm

      It’s commentary like this that turn me off to the PGA Tour airhead. Thanks for clearing the air for me. I fully support Greg over the yawn tour.

    • geohogan

      Jul 10, 2022 at 9:37 am

      Like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, they are whores aka independent contractors, who struck “oil”

  21. geohogan

    Jul 1, 2022 at 11:00 am

    Younger Americans… millenials(Gen Y)
    grew up with “Participation trophies”

    “no cut” golf tours, with millions for simply showing up…
    “participation trophy world” meant for four year olds, comes to prime time.

  22. Mike

    Jul 1, 2022 at 10:49 am

    The LIV League is exhibition golf. Nothing more. Nothing less.They are the Harlem Globetrotter’s of golf.

    • Brian

      Jul 1, 2022 at 11:36 am

      So it’s more entertaining? Is that what you’re saying?

      • Eric

        Jul 1, 2022 at 12:47 pm

        Yea sure thing “brian”

        • GaGolfer

          Jul 1, 2022 at 1:06 pm

          I guess we know what “Brian” would be watching if the GTs were on opposite the NBA playoffs. Says a lot.

      • Mike

        Jul 2, 2022 at 12:07 am

        Not from my perspective. I saw the Harlem Globtrotter’s once when I was a kid. They were fantastic entertainers, but as good as Meadowlark Lemon and Curley, etc. were, once was enough for me. They weren’t playing for anything. There was no competition to be better than their opponents. I don’t see how the LIV league is any different. They have all been paid. It’s no-cut. What is their incentive to go out and practice everyday so they can make it to the weekend?

        The players on the Celtics and the Warriors make boatloads of money. When it’s all said and done they want to be able to raise the championship trophy on national television. The LIV league doesn’t have that legacy (or public acceptance/following).

    • Thomas Woodward

      Jul 1, 2022 at 12:06 pm

      YO Mike, LOL!!! Your ‘woke’ comment speaks volumes about YOU! Personally, I’m a 72 year old golf fanatic and play 3 times a week and I LOVE the LIV Golf Tour! It’s a MUCH better format, the competition is two fold, NO CUTS, and watching the streamed telecast on my laptop, NO COMMERCIALS, it’s just enjoyable nonstop golfing action. BTW, these players put on a great show and there’s ALWAYS some excellent shotmaking to enjoy!…

      • Thomas Woodbored

        Jul 13, 2022 at 4:20 pm

        Figured out why Thomas here loves LIV so much… guy can’t stay awake long enough for the PGA

    • geohogan

      Jul 1, 2022 at 5:24 pm

      Though it’s money that will make the monkey dance
      Yes, it’s money that will make the monkey dance
      And it’s money that will make the monkey dance
      Yes, it’s money that will make the monkey, monkey
      Monkey dance

      • Thomas Woodward

        Jul 5, 2022 at 7:00 pm

        Your comment reeks of indoctro-procto syndrome affliction ignorance which equates to a intelligence level so low, it hasn’t been established yet….

  23. Smitts

    Jul 1, 2022 at 10:37 am

    This seems like celebrating while sitting on a big 3rd round lead at a major (let’s use the Masters for fun). A nice story but not really a win yet. This is Greg Norman, so it’s hardly a sure thing

  24. Chuck

    Jun 30, 2022 at 8:23 am

    It seemed to me that younger respondents had much more awareness of the LIV Tour, but only marginally more actual favorability.

    It’s an interesting age-dividing line (45); I don’t think of people in their 40’s as “young”, and indeed golfers in their 40’s might identify more with tour players of their own age (Perez, Westwood, etc.) who are of that same age, and who are likewise past their prime as championship players.

    To me, it’s a pity that Harris did not poll, or SI did not report, whether respondents were broken down by political affiliation and/or support for Trump. In the comments pages here, it seems to me that that’s a major divisional marker.

    • Mike

      Jun 30, 2022 at 2:08 pm

      Wow, it’s a damn shame some people can’t write a response without alluding to Trump. It’s amazing how he’s gotten into people’s heads!

      • Chuck

        Jul 1, 2022 at 1:26 pm

        It’s amazing how Trump has gotten into the LIV Tour.

        No, wait; it’s not amazing at all. It’s got “Trump” all over it. He’s hosting the LIV Tour season-ending event. It feels a lot like his ill-fated involvement in the USFL:

        https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/opinion/when-trump-made-the-usfl-great-again.html

        • The Donald

          Jul 2, 2022 at 12:59 pm

          Someone has Trump derangement syndrome.

          • Chuck

            Jul 5, 2022 at 1:53 pm

            “The Donald” makes an accusation of “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” You can’t make this stuff up.

            I get a lot of that. Trump defenders attacking the messenger, with nothing to say about the substance of the message.

            Let me add this; I really and truly think that we are still in a rather innocent phase, of this LIV argument. When the LIV show actually arrives at Trump courses for events, it is going to get a thousand times more intense.

            • The Donald

              Jul 10, 2022 at 10:33 am

              Someone still has Trump derangement syndrome. Derp derp

              • Chuck

                Jul 18, 2022 at 10:07 pm

                Right on schedule, Donald Trump fails to resist the urge to make LIV events all about him.

                This will get much, much worse.

                Trump will continue to spout off about the LIV events and his courses, and he will end up making it about him even if the LIV guys don’t really like it. (I suspect many of them LOVE Trump weighing in.)

                And of course it will be the kind of spectacle that the PGA Tour wanted to avoid, when they pulled out of Doral. It’s what the R&A sought to avoid when they pulled Turnberry off the Open rota. And it’s what the PGA wanted to avoid when they broke off the PGA Championship contract.

                PR chaos, division, distraction from the event… it’s all there, and it is what golf’s responsible ruling bodies wanted to avoid. But which Greg Norman’s public relations stunt loves

        • JPH

          Jul 20, 2022 at 1:15 pm

          What’s worse – is you have a US President actively supporting and promoting the group that executed 9/11 – 11 of the 15 involved in 9/11 were Saudis. If that isn’t fucked-up and a major black mark (and embarrassment) on the US as a country – I’m not sure what is.

    • George Jerry

      Jul 1, 2022 at 4:32 am

      Trumps hosting LIV events.

    • Vas

      Jul 1, 2022 at 10:03 am

      Yeah, I think it’s safe to say that 90% of professional golfers themselves don’t exactly identify as “progressive”. Give that other 10% about 3 years of hiring accountants and filling out tax forms in 20 different states.

      • SHAD HUGH GOLDSTON

        Jul 5, 2022 at 5:46 pm

        Paying taxes is just legalized theft. Liberals are a cancer on this nation

    • geohogan

      Jul 1, 2022 at 5:38 pm

      Generation Y grew up with “Participation Trophies”
      “no cut”, so called tournaments suit their
      narcissistic personality; just as the Donald
      suits their politics.

      • geohogan

        Jul 22, 2022 at 1:59 pm

        Trump cheats more than Patrick Read.
        Just what Thomas “foot wedge” Woodword likes to see.

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19th Hole

What happened to the players who played LIV’s opener that are now surplus to requirements

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LIV Golf has slowly but surely been adding notable talent to their player field as the weeks and months have gone on. While recent additions such as Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, Jason Kokrak and Charles Howell III likely have already played their best golf, there’s no denying they are notable names in the world of golf.

In Roman Numerals, LIV means 54 and the format for the series features 48 player fields battling it out over 54 holes. Considering the 48-man fields are unlikely to change (this year at least), the more notable golfers that get added to the series, the more golfers that need to be cast aside.

Which begs the question: What happens to the LIV defectors who’ve been replaced in the field by bigger names?

A handful of the players who’ve been replaced after the first event at Centurion Club are still members of the DP World Tour. Unlike the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour hasn’t suspended those who’ve chosen to play in LIV events indefinitely. Instead, they were assessed hefty fines and are still eligible to participate.

Among those who played at Centurion Club and returned to the DP World Tour after they weren’t invited to the LIV Portland event are Oliver Bekker, Oliver Fisher and Pablo Larrazabal.

Other golfers who appeared at LIV London but not LIV Portland include Kevin Yuan and Viraj Madappa who both returned to the Asian Tour, and 15-year-old phenom Ratchanon Chantananuwat who needs much more seasoning on the amateur circuit before he becomes a professional.

Andy Ogletree, who finished last at 24 over par, collected a cool £100,000 for his troubles and doesn’t currently play on any known professional golf tours.

In addition to the golfers left behind after LIV London, there are another handful who played LIV Portland but are not in the field at LIV Bedminster. Those golfers include Itthipat Buranatanyarat (Thailand), Sihwan Kim (USA), Adrian Otaegui (Spain), Ian Snyman (South Africa) and Blake Windred (Australia).

Itthipat Buranatanyarat has three wins on the Asian Development Tour and will likely be returning there.

Sihwan Kim has two wins on the Asian Tour this year, which were the first two victories of his professional career. He will continue to play on both the Asian Tour and DP World Tour in the future.

Adrian Otaegui will return to the DP World Tour and he recently played at the star-studded Genesis Scottish Open after his LIV Portland appearance.

Ian Snyman will continue to play on the Challenge Tour and the developmental tour in South Africa.

Blake Windred won his first professional event in his home of Australia this year and will be playing on the Challenge Tour going forward.

There will undoubtedly be plenty other players ousted from LIV Golf in the coming months as it’s been reported that there will be some more announcements coming after the FedEx Cup playoffs have concluded. Stars such as Cameron Smith and Hideki Matsuyama are among the big names rumored to be in talks with LIV.

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19th Hole

Rival European Ryder Cup captain candidate fires warning over ‘joke’ option of Thomas Bjorn

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The fallout from Henrik Stenson’s departure to the LIV Golf Series sees no sign of stopping yet.

The former 2023 Ryder Cup captain, now stripped of his duties, tweeted his reasons for joining the alternative tour but was at pains to point out that he was “hugely disappointed to not be allowed to continue in my role.”

Meanwhile, whilst the 46-year-old is “on hand to support Ryder Cup Europe in any way I can,” his departure has led to confusion as to who will now take the pressurized position in charge of a revenge attempt for a 10-point defeat by the United States at Whistling Straits in 2021.

With the likes of Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, and Graeme McDowell also on the Saudi-backed tour, legitimate candidates are thin on the ground, although there seemed an air of confidence that one of three names originally interviewed for the post along with Stenson, would be offered the job.

There could be little said against the claims of Robert Karlsson, Luke Donald, and Paul Lawrie, so the rumors that Thomas Bjorn has entered the frame have caused some antagonism, particularly in the Lawrie camp.

The Dane was victorious European captain in 2018, when his side comprehensively defeated their rivals 17.5-10.5 in France and would make an awful lot of sense bar the fact he is on the voting panel, something Lawrie made quite clear in the week of the British Senior Open.

Lawrie told The Telegraph that,

“I assume they just go back to the way they did it before, with the five guys voting on the now three people who were up for the job initially. I’m led to believe that might not be the case. And if it’s not the case, then it’s a joke.”

On the rumbling of Bjorn’s name, he fumed:

“You hear Thomas’s name being banded about now. I don’t see how that can be the case. He’s voting. How can you get the job when you are voting? You can’t change the rules. The process is the process. It’ll be fun and games if it’s not.”

Whether that spurred him on, the 53-year-old Scot ended his week at Gleneagles with a final hole eagle, finishing in the top-10, and seven ahead of the Dane.

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19th Hole

LPGA Commissioner says she is open to talk with LIV Golf

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The PGA Tour and DP World Tour may not be the only professional golf organizations impacted by the presence of LIV Golf. It now appears that women’s golf may soon have to evaluate their stance on LIV.

According to Cathy Harris of the London Times, LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan is open to having a conversation with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman.

“It’s my responsibility to evaluate every opportunity. I would engage in a conversation if it would achieve our aim of promoting women’s golf but there needs to be input from players and sponsors. There’s a lot of factors to consider before we do business with LIV Golf.”

While there has been much debate about the ethics of taking money from the Saudi regime, the LPGA already has multiple ties to Saudi.

In the interview, Harris pointed out that Aramco, the state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Company, “sponsors six Ladies European Tour (LET) events to the tune of $6 million.”

Greg Norman has also brought up the fact that the women’s game biggest sponsor is Aramco, yet there has been no criticism towards them.

“Why is it OK for them and nobody barks at them?” Norman said. “But the boys, they’re barking at you. “It’s simple, because it all starts out of the headquarters in Jacksonville.”

Harris also noted that three leading European players are “sponsored by Golf Saudi.”

Many current and former LPGA players have also defended the involvement of Saudi in women’s golf.

Bronte Law, has strongly defended the involvement saying that the LET “wasn’t in a strong financial position before the partnership.”

Considering the LPGA has been a bit more reliant on Saudi sponsors to stay afloat, it’s no surprise that they’d be willing to explore their options with LIV Golf.

Marcoux Samaan concluded the interview by saying that she was “as prepared as she can be for what could be turbulent times ahead” and “remains bullish about the future.”

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