Greg Norman has launched a new salvo on the PGA Tour as the war rages in the world of golf. The LIV CEO believes the tour brought on himself the accusations he now faces from LIV golfers.
Since the launch of LIV Golf, Norman has consistently stood by his players, sharing the message that players have the right to play whenever and wherever they want. LIV Golf doesn’t step on the PGA Tour’s toes scheduling-wise by not hosting tournaments the same week as major championships and marquee Tour events.
“It’s a really easy space for us (LIV Golf and the PGA Tour) to co-exist because our business model was built from the ground up to work within the ecosystem,” Norman told OutKick just last week.
The PGA Tour doesn’t share the same view. It has indefinitely suspended all LIV golfers from playing in future tour events. That being the case, Norman believes the antitrust lawsuit filed by 11 LIV golfers on the PGA Tour was caused by his own actions.
“I believe that players have the right to play when and where they choose and to maximize their talents,” Norman said in an exclusive statement to OutKick on Monday.
“All players—whether they choose to play with LIV or the PGA Tour—understand, and appreciate, the purpose and importance of player legal action. The PGA Tour is trying to cast this as “us” against “them.” The players know better.
As with many disputes or legal battles throughout history, both sides involved believe that they are right.
As LIV Golf continues to poach players and disrupt the golf world as we’ve known it for 50+ years, everyone agrees that PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan needs to do something.
Greg Norman explains why next year is the ‘real start of live golf’ Travis will do.
Having said that, banning LIV golfers indefinitely is like putting a bandaid on the dam’s drain. He put the leak on hold until the inevitable legal battles began, and now that the first one has arrived, Turitu finds himself in a difficult position.
Not only has Tourism been sued by some of its former players, it is also under investigation by the Department of Justice for alleged “anti-competitive conduct” with LIV Golf.
While Norman’s ‘players have rights’ message is overly simplistic, it doesn’t mean it’s untrue or unimportant. Some players, you might say, agree wholeheartedly with Norman’s opinion. The 11 LIV golfers who signed their names to the lawsuit on the tour certainly do.
These players don’t like being told where and when they can or can’t play, especially when tourism profits from their golf games.
The old media and people on Twitter are doing their best to pin every criticism on LIV Golf because he is playing a difficult role. That, or the fact that many other sports leagues are being funded by Saudi Arabia despite deep ties to China and other countries with terrible human rights records.
At the end of the day, we are in the early stages of this war. LIV will champion Golf and all it stands for, but you have to admit it has more energy today than anyone could have imagined just a few months ago.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris