Greg Norman on "dear friends" snubbing him over LIV Golf? "HAPPY DAYS!"

Greg Norman has admitted that some of his close friends have stopped talking to him as a result of his association with the LIV Golf League.

Ben Smith's picture
Wed, 22 Feb 2023
Greg Norman on "dear friends" snubbing him over LIV Golf? "HAPPY DAYS!"

Greg Norman has admitted close friends have stopped talking to him as a result of his association with the LIV Golf League

Norman joined the People I (Mostly) Admire podcast on the eve of the second $405m season which kicks off in Mexico. 

The final roster of players has now been confirmed with Thomas Pieters, Mito Pereira, Sebastian Munoz, Dean Burmester, Danny Lee and Brendan Steele joining the Saudi-funded enterprise. 

Related: LIV Golf player injured for six months

There is no denying that some relationships have been dented owing to LIV's emergence. Just think of Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia

The two-time Open champion didn't sound too upset about his own dented relationships. 

Norman told the podcast:

"Some of my dear friends don't even speak to me because of this. That's their choice. If you don't want to talk to me again, happy days."

Perhaps those dear friends were upset by Norman's famous remarks about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi before the first tee shot was struck in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series. 

Norman was attempting to respond to accusations LIV was being used to sportswash Saudi Arabia's abysmal human rights record. 

The 67-year-old Australian told a reporter "we all make mistakes" when referencing Khashoggi's killing. It sparked outrage.


What he said forced those in charge of LIV to make a statement which read: 

"The killing of Jamal Khashoggi was reprehensible. Everyone agrees on that, including Greg, as he has said as such previously on many occasions. Greg also knows that golf is a force for good around the world and can help make inroads toward positive change. That is why he is so excited about LIV and that was the point he was making."

Norman was rumoured to be "moved upstairs" into a different position in the off-season but has since allegedly been given more power over LIV's inner workings. 

According to Sports Illustrated, Norman now reports directly to Golf Saudi governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan after the managing director position wasn't filled following the departure of Atul Khosla. 

The legal battle continues between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. 

Things took a dramatic twist when a U.S. judge ruled PGA lawyers could depose Saudi's Public Investment Fund, including the aforementioned Al-Rumayyan for documents related to the fund and its involvement as LIV's principal financier. 

PIF and Al-Rumayyan sought protection from the legal probes, claiming "sovereign immunity". 

LIV lawyers argued PIF was merely an investor and not a business partner. 

But the judge was convinced Al-Rumayyan and the PIF were "the moving force behind the founding, funding, oversight and operation of LIV" and not exempt from the PGA's depositions. 

This ruling could prove crucial. Should the two parties fail to cooperate with the deposition, they could be held in contempt of court which would have grave consequences for their standing in the suit. 

Perhaps LIV might withdraw from the litigation to avoid having to deliver truckloads of documents to the PGA

ESPN have reported that they will ask a different federal judge to review this decision. 

Related: DJ parts ways with adidas Golf

As for Norman, he appears to be hoping that in time the damaged relationships will be worth it to realise his vision about elite professional golf. 

He also told the podcast: 

"To see what's happened today on the PGA Tour since LIV came onto the scenes, a massive amount of capital was injected back into the players on the PGA Tour. 
"So to be honest with you, the players on the PGA Tour should be giving a standing ovation to LIV, the league, and the players for stimulating this new injection of money."

What do you think of Norman's comments? Will you be watching the LIV Golf League? Tweet us your thoughts. 

Next page: Sky Sports commentator goes on hilarious LIV rant