SUGAR GROOVE, Ill. — LIV Golf is getting ready to host its fifth tournament. The event will take place outside of Chicago this Wednesday. CEO and commissioner Greg NormanThe upstart circuit said it is not interested in negotiating a truce with the rival PGA Tour.
LIV Golf, a Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund-funded organization, has been battling the PGA Tour for the top golfers for much of the year. Norman stated that he had spoken to Jay Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner in the past about trying co-existence. However, Norman has said that hes not interested in doing so now.
Norman said in an interview with The Australian this week that we have no interest to sit down with them, in order to be honest with you , because our product works.
Monahan refused to meet with LIV Golf despite being a past major championship winner, including Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka Bubba WatsonThey were lured to the new circuit by signing bonuses that reportedly ranged from $100 million to $200,000,000.
Norman stated, Thats why it is where we are today. We tried very hard — I know personally that I did the same for the past year. … We decided to go even though we knew we would never hear from them.
More than two dozen PGA Tour players have defected, with a few even resigning their memberships. Monahan suspended LIV Golf players who participated without conflicting event releases. Smith, third-ranked golfer around the world and reigning Open Championship champion, was among those who left.
ESPN reported Thursday that Norman tried to communicate with Monahan via a February 24 letter and a voicemail. This was just before LIV Golf announced its 2022 schedule.
Norman accused Monahan, in a letter, of going too far and being unfair and likely violating labor laws by threatening players to be banned and/or suspended for life.
Norman wrote, Simply put you cant prohibit players from playing golf. Players have every right and freedom to play wherever they want. I know that many PGA players are interested in playing in a new league in addition to the Tour. Is that wrong?
What is wrong allowing players the freedom to choose where to play and when to play? What is wrong about player choice? Why would you resort to such a desperate, unwise and unenforceable threat?
LIV Golf joined a few players in a federal antitrust suit against the PGA Tour. The lawsuit alleges that the PGA Tour has used its monopoly to suppress competition and unfairly suspend LIV Golf players from participating in LIV Golf events.
Norman insists to The Australian that LIV Golf was an additive , to the existing golf ecosystem.
Norman stated that it was always an add-on to all tours. This notion [that]This is false. Its quite simple.