World Golf Hall of Famer and LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman discussed the franchise’s plans in the coming years after securing a TV deal with The CW.
Norman said the partnership is “critical” to what they’re doing and credited the fans, players and sponsors for the franchise’s success.
Norman said he prides himself over LIV Golf being a new platform that brings competition to the game that has “dearly needed it.”
He addressed the disputes between the PGA and LIV Golf.
“It’s an identification of the fact that there was virgin space left untouched, and it’s the first time in golf’s history that you’ve had private equity or money coming in to invest into this virgin space, to unlock this opportunity and create an ROI,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Norman called the competition incredible.
“We identified this ability, and what is that? It’s called the franchise model. All these great players we’ve had come over here have seen that ability for them to be able to be part of this franchise growth in the game of golf that’s never happened before.”
Norman addressed recent comments made by Tiger Woods calling him out, saying if Norman steps aside, then both the PGA and LIV can talk.
“I think it’s sad for Tiger that unfortunately he made a comment that he doesn’t know the facts about because obviously I’m still here. Obviously, he doesn’t control what we do within LIV. So just making those comments, I think, is an indication that he might be a bit of a mouthpiece for the PGA Tour to try to get us to create turmoil created internally within LIV.”
LIV Golf is financed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and has come under mixed criticism in its early run over its involvement.
“PIF is our single-source investor,” Norman said. “There’s no question about that. No denying about that, but everything is up to LIV Golf investments. It’s up to me and my executive team to run and govern this thing going forward. So we’re very comfortable sitting back here with the business model we’ve created going forward.”
Norman defended the professional golf tour and said before he became CEO and commissioner of LIV, himself and other players were already building golf courses in Saudi Arabia.
“Now all of a sudden, we’re out here as professional golfers and because we’ve got a whole new platform, it’s like we’re the pariah,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
Norman added that there’s 23 PGA Tour sponsors who invest up to $40 billion into Saudi Arabia.
“Why don’t people come down on them?” Norman asked.
He said there’s a big question mark as to why they’re “attacking” LIV’s credibility.