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19th Hole

‘Not the cash value’ – Greg Norman clarifies details on LIV Golf’s offer to Tiger Woods

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At the beginning of August, GolfWRX reported on an interview between FOX News and Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, in which the station asked about the figure initially offered to Tiger Woods to join the Saudi-backed organization.

Speaking to host Tucker Carlson the two-time Open champion confirmed the figure to be circa $700 million, three times over any offer we have since heard about:

“That number was out there before I became CEO, so that number has been out there, yes.”

“And, look, Tiger is a needle-mover and, of course, you have to look at the best of the best. So they had originally approached Tiger before I became CEO. So, yes, that number was somewhere in that neighborhood.”

However, in a recent interview with foxsports.com.au, Norman backtracked slightly on his initial claim, saying that, “the numbers that were thrown out were inclusive of future franchise value.”

According to Fox Sports, “Woods was offered a much smaller sign-on fee, with the remainder of LIV’s $A1 billion pitch made up of potential future earnings through ownership of one of its 12 franchises.”

Norman says: “To be honest, we don’t comment on any past or current offers to any players, but obviously the media picks up on information, tid bits, white noise, and they run with it.”

“I just want to make sure for clarification here, the numbers that were thrown out were inclusive of future franchise value.”

“And so if you take a look at this number that’s being thrown out there … the generational wealth that this franchise opportunity has for the individual players is incredible.”

Norman then insists:

“That’s how it is. It’s not the cash value. We never offered that cash value to Tiger Woods. That’s the reality of it.”

LIV has a habit of making news during some of the biggest event on the PGA Tour, and Tiger’s potential earnings were not the only topic for discussion during the week of the second of three FedEx Playoff events.

As Tiger met a select group of PGA Tour players on Tuesday to discuss the future of the tour, Norman was backing up his appeal for LIV events to be awarded OWGR points, therefore giving members a much better chance of qualifying for any future majors, should the various authorities allow them to enter. It would, also, give LIV much more legitimacy within the golfing world.

“I think it’s important for the sustainability of the OWGR, to be honest with you,” he told Fox, before continuing.

“LIV Golf is a proven platform with very significant players with very high-ranking points with a very proven model that works. So I think, really, the onus is on the OWGR as an independent organisation to see that LIV Golf is worthy of these ranking points because of what we’ve produced and what we’ve done.”

Norman sees no reason the limited-field 54-hole events are not being backed by the rankings organization:

“We’ve done all the right things. LIV is living up to it, LIV is proving it. So it’s up to the independent board, the independent chairman.”

“I’m confident they’ll sit back and see that the LIV Golf League (from 2023) and the LIV Golf Invitational Series we’ve done today is worthy and warranted of OWGR points.”

With the PGA Tour rumored to be coming out with their own limited-field big-money events, and the LIV developing a women’s league, the last few months of 2022 are going to be a hive of activity and changes, the like of which we have never seen.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tiger Woods 2005 tournament-used and signed Nike golf bag sells for record price – GolfWRX

  2. Pingback: Ian Poulter blasts DP World Tour over media restrictions; DP World Tour responds – GolfWRX

  3. Arch

    Aug 22, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Somebody got a letter from Tiger’s attorney

  4. Mike

    Aug 22, 2022 at 10:52 am

    Greg Norman and all the other LIV participants keep saying it’s about growing the game, not the money. If that really is their argument, why are they playing all of their exhibition matches in the US, Canada and Europe where the game is already popular? They should be playing in places where golf needs to be grown say Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia and the Ukraine just to name a few.

  5. Joe

    Aug 22, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Keep telling yourself you should get OWGR points and surely it will come true LOL

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19th Hole

‘What’s going on?’ – Justin Thomas left frustrated with two officials over ruling at Hero

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During Thursday’s first round of the Hero World Challenge, Justin Thomas called for a rules official and subsequently, a second opinion, on the par-5 9th at Albany Golf Club.

The players were playing lift-clean-and-place, and Thomas’ ball came to rest about 5o yards short of the green in an area where it was difficult to identify if the ball was sitting in the fairway or the rough. The ball had gathered some mud, so if the rules official had decided that his ball was in fact in the rough, he would have to hit a pretty difficult shot given the condition on his golf ball.

“Basically, what’s going on?” Thomas asked the official.

The official told Thomas that the change of color in the grass was indicative of the change of fairway to rough, and therefore he would have to hit his ball as it lied. Thomas argued that the grass was cut to the same length in both spots, therefore the color didn’t matter.

“But you see, what I’m saying, this is also beat down from the carts, but look at how much longer this is than this,” he said before walking over to the thicker grass. “Like see, this is the same height [where his ball was and the apparent fairway.] I totally see it’s down grain and it’s a totally different color, but … the change of the length of grass is just what kind of confused me.”

After relief was denied by the official, “JT” called for a second opinion. While waiting for another official to show up, Thomas was heard saying to his caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay, ““It’s the same exact length, this is not rough.”

When the second rules official came over, he said: “I can see the cutline right here,” and pointed to the different shades of grass that the other official mentioned.

Thomas accepted the decision.

Interestingly, announcer Paul Azinger shared his opinion that the second rules official almost never will disagree with the first rules official’s ruling.

“That second opinion almost never works,” Azinger said to Dan Hicks during the broadcast.

“Really?” Hicks asked.

“Never,” Azinger said. “Very rarely will an official go against another official.”

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19th Hole

Data shows how much more difficult green become as the day progresses

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For many a golf bettor, betting on the first round leader of any tournament revolves around the early starters.

Even a cursory look at this week’s Australian Open shows the morning wave averaging 1.73 shots better than the afternoon players, resulting in 18 early starters finishing in the top-10 by the end of the day, including current leader David Micheluzzi.

However, over on the South African Open, the roles are reversed, with current leader Thirston Lawrence taking up one of 15 places on the front page of leaderboard for the late starters, who shot around half-a-shot less than the morning groups.

Naturally, there are many factors – wind, temperature, dew, grass-types and, potentially, overall quality of the groupings, but these are variables that can change from day to day.

Step in Lou Stagner, data lead of Arccos Golf and all-round numbers guru.

Stagner does not deal in emotion or factors that cannot be measured. It’s facts, figures and that’s your lot!

He will tell you that from the fairway, 80-yards from the pin, professionals simply don’t get as close as many believe:

On Wednesday, the man who once built a Lego model of Augusta #12, tweeted a table showing the variance in putts made by PGA Tour members under morning and afternoon conditions.

Taking stats over 17 years, the table shows an advantage to the early starters, not by much, but enough to consider.

There are plenty of places to take the stats, with a few respondents asking for a table on grass types through the day – Bent v Bermuda v POA – and that will probably turn up on Stanger’s twitter feed soon.

Of course, on a Sunday, later starters have the pressure of trying to win a tournament, which is why we tend to see flashy rounds from those a few off the pace on Payday, but it is enough to consider when trying to get that illusive three-figure first (or second) round leader.

Either way, two-time major champion, and regular tweeter Justin Thomas, decided this was his chance to get in an early excuse when he’s off late in the day.

Make of what you will. Perhaps the stats will one day include how many of these are for par saves against birdie putts, or is that too much?

Either way, Stagner continues to bombard us with stats that delight and entertain, and that can be no bad thing. Unless you are a buddy of Lou’s…

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19th Hole

Cam Smith fumes at ‘pretty s****y’ opening round at Australian Open

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After an incredible week at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship, Cameron Smith is off to a rough start at the Australian Open. The Champion Golfer of the Year struggled to hit fairways all day long and finished his round at +1 which is eight shots back of first-round leader David Micheluzzi (-7).

Smith, who received a massive ovation from the crowd, was extremely displeased, calling his play “pretty shitty” as he went from his post-round press conference to the practice range. The 29-year-old also said it was “as bad as I’ve played in a long time”.

“I don’t think it was a mixed bag, I think it was all rubbish to be honest,”

“Maybe some delayed tiredness, maybe. I did feel a little bit foggy out there at times, but it’s not really an excuse, it’s my job to do all that stuff.”

Despite the uninspiring round, the world number three still feels as if he can get back into the event and contend.

“It’s not like I don’t know how to play golf, it was just a bit of a bad day.”

“I’ve just got a few things to clean up, I think. Like I said last week [at the Australian PGA Championship], I felt as though the golf got better every day.”

The Aussie is incredible at recovery shots and finding his way out of trouble. But if he wants to be the first player to win the Australian PGA and Australian Open in the same season since 2011, he needs to start putting the ball in the fairway.

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