Norman blasts Tiger and Rory as he claims LIV almost signed 2022 major winner

Greg Norman has once again criticised Rory McIlroy as he revealed a 2022 major winner was very interested in joining the LIV Golf League.

Ben Smith's picture
Wed, 22 Feb 2023
Norman blasts Tiger and Rory as he claims LIV almost signed 2022 major winner

LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman once again criticised Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods as he claimed he personally sat down with a 2022 major winner who was very interested in bolting from the PGA Tour. 

There was a lot to unpack from Norman's appearance on the People I (Mostly) Admire podcast. 

Norman conceded that some of his "dear friends" had stopped talking to him as a result of his association with the breakaway tour. 

Related: Ernie Els condemns South African LIV players

His response? Happy days. Norman also claimed that he sat down with one major winner in 2022 to walk him through the LIV concept. 

If you forgot Scottie Scheffler won The Masters, Justin Thomas claimed the US PGA Championship and Matthew Fitzpatrick won the US Open. 

Norman has previously spoken about Thomas, pointing out how the American has not had too many disparaging things to say about LIV.  

"Presumably because he gets it and understands it," Norman said in a December interview. 

Norman said:

"I won't mention this player's name, but he is a top player. He's won a major championship in the last year – in 2022 – and he asked me to come over to sit down and show him what the LIV product was all about.
"He was willing to sit down and listen, so myself and another one of my executives went over to his house, and we walked him through the presentation. He just sat there and looked at me and goes, 'Wow, this is nothing like we've been told in the locker room.'

The final roster of players for the 2023 LIV Golf League has now been confirmed. 

Danny Lee, Brendan Steele, Sebastian Munoz, Mito Pereira, Thomas Pieters and Dean Burmester the latest additions.

Norman, 68, continued on Thomas

"He decided not to come. I respect him wholeheartedly because he understood both sides, and he had a decision to make. He could have done whatever he wanted, and he chose to do that. Those individuals, I applaud.
"Those individuals to me have a tremendous amount of intelligence and are street smart because they wanted to learn what the truth was. What are the facts? What are my opportunities? What are my preferences? Now I'll make a decision over here.
"Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy? They don't understand the facts."

Norman and McIlroy have been publicly trading barbs back-and-forth since last June when LIV played their first event. 

McIlroy had previously stated he was happy to let sleeping dogs lie. 

That was before he watched the Norman documentary about his epic Masters collapse in which the Australian described McIlroy as "brainwashed". 

McIlroy, detailing that moment, said: 

"I'm like 'For f*** sake!' I thought, 'You know what? I'm going to make it my business now to be as much of a pain in his ass as possible.'" 

Norman addressed the topic of McIlroy once again, touching on appearance fees and using an example of the 33-year-old's recent win at the Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour

The Great White Shark said:  

"He created value, and he put value on his name and his brand to get paid to go play in one event. He plays a competition. He's competing for prize money. He's focused on the first tee on a Thursday to Sunday is to win that tournament. So when you look at the value — now, that's one tournament."

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He continued: 

"Let's just say Rory plays 18 tournaments a year. That's $36m a year, basically, he would get paid to play, right? That doesn't happen, but that's basically what it is.
"So when you look at LIV and our quality of players that come on board, there is a commitment fee. We pay 'em on an annual basis, but when you break it down on a per-tournament basis, it's not too far off of just that mathematical equation that I hypothetically put out there."

Norman's comments come as it was confirmed LIV Golf have just agreed a deal for their first global sponsor

Elsewhere, a judge has ruled the PGA Tour can sue Saudi Arabia's PIF and its governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan. 

Next page: Nine players who changed their mind about LIV