LIV Golf's Greg Norman: "We've gotta lock this kid up! Oh my god..."

LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman has revealed before their $50m event in Miami that after one phone call with a teenage golfer he had to sign him.

LIV Golf's Greg Norman: "We've gotta lock this kid up! Oh my god..."
LIV Golf's Greg Norman: "We've gotta lock this kid up! Oh my god..."

LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman has revealed after one phone call with Ratchanon "TK" Chantananuwat he had to "lock this kid up". 

Chantananuwat is highly thought of in the golf world and he's only 15 years old. 

He was already courting attention when he was playing on the Asian Tour before signing up to play the first LIV Golf Invitational in London last June.  

Related: Nine players who changed their mind about LIV Golf

LIV Golf's Greg Norman:

You might not remember, but TK was sitting awkwardly alongside Phil Mickelson when he made his return to the golf world following a few months out of the limelight following his famously controversial remarks about leverage and the Saudis being "scary motherf******" to work with. 

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer - who served under George Bush - was the moderator in that press conference and he tried to urge members of the media to ask TK about his golf. 

Unsurprisingly, members of the press were more interested in hearing what Mickelson had to say. 

Fast forward to October and TK hasn't played in a LIV Golf event since. 

The youngster is of course still juggling his studies with his career. He is playing the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand this week as LIV Golf play their $50m season-ending team championship in Miami

He told the South Morning China Post:

"To be completely honest, mentally it's not great [juggling school with golf]. I like it, I don't dislike it, but it does get very busy.
"I had two weeks where I needed to prepare for the most important golf tournament of my life … I don't even have time to relax and watch YouTube."

Norman, who Rory McIlroy believes is "hiding behind" LIV Golf being "a force for good", reportedly wanted to snap up TK after one phone call. 

He told the publication:

"This is a kid who knows what he wants in life. After our call I said to my team, 'we've gotta lock this kid up, we've got to get him on board because he's 15 now, but can you imagine where he will be in 10 years … Oh my god'.
"I'm pretty good at spotting talent, and trust me, this kid has got it. If I can give him an opportunity to play golf, I'm going to give it to him."

Whether or not TK will sign a full contract with LIV remains to be seen. LIV Golf currently do not award their players world ranking points. 

It is a battle that has gotten increasingly ill-tempered in recent weeks.

Related: Range finders allowed at LIV Golf Miami 

TK said there was "no rush" in turning professional, but he warned that world ranking points - for him - are a priority. 

He told the publication:

"World ranking points are literally the only thing I'm playing for. That's the only thing that motivates me other than winning. As an amateur I don't get anything – I don't get money – so the only thing I want is world ranking points."

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