Golf legend Greg Norman told Brian Kilmead that he was “disappointed” by the PGA Tour’s suspension for joining the Saudi – backed LIV golf series. In an exclusive interview Saturday at “One Nation” he called on players to “coexist in all of the current ecosystems in the game of golf.”
Greg Norman: I took a lot of time to study it, to study the business model that came out. It was presented to me in February last year and I did not make a decision until the end of August. And I took my time, I studied it. I wanted to break down the model to understand what a model is. I could not break it. I really saw the value of the product, serving the players, the fans, raising the game on a global basis, being a professional golfer as a global player. So I saw the value and what golf can bring to the world. So from there I said, yes, it’s a great platform and it’s a commercial activity. We are in it for a reason: to make golf and raise golf to a successful level and on behalf of the players, they are independent contractors. Give them the opportunity to expand their wealth to their liking. But at the same time, as Charles Schwartzel is with his wife and children, our platform may be a little better because our platform gives them more time with their family. Their platform gives them that opportunity and it is a choice. This is not a breakup trip. This is an option. Players have the option to play with us and continue playing with the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour or the Japanese Tour or any other tour.
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Brian Kilmide: It is a Saudi investment company. It’s as good a treasure trove as deep pockets in the world probably. Saudi Arabians, do you hesitate to do business with them.
Norman: No, not at all, because golf is a force for good. And to be honest with you, what I saw in Saudi Arabia is that there has been a golf tournament on the European PGA Tour since 2019, and Saudi International has still existed since 2019. And those were, at the time of Saudi International. PGA Tour Players given rights and exemptions to play there. So for me, golf is good for the world, golf is good for the Saudis, and you’ll see that growth internally – it’s very impressive. So, no, it did not. And when you look at what they do with PIF and other direct and indirect investments around the world, I guess there are a lot of customers out there and people looking at the performance that are benefiting from those investments.
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