At a media gathering to promote next month’s LIV Golf event at The Centurion Club in London, Greg Norman vowed to continue to fight for the freedom of tour golfers and against the “anti-competitve” tactics of the PGA Tour.
A day earlier, the PGA Tour announced it had denied permission for its members to participate in LIV Golf’s maiden event.
Thus, any PGA Tour golfer who tees it up in London would violate protocols, resulting in a likely suspension, or even a ban.
Norman, the CEO of LIV Golf Investments, said the PGA Tour was on the wrong side of history, “perpetuating its illegal monopoly of what should be a free and open market”.
“The [PGA] Tour’s action is anti-golfer, anti-fan and anti-competitive,” said the two-time British Open champion.
“But no matter what obstacles the [PGA] Tour puts in our way; we will not be stopped. We will continue to give players options that promote the great sport of golf, globally.”
He added, “No tour owns the game of golf, and we feel we’re on the right side of history.”
The 67-year-old Aussie boasted that he would even pay the fines of players who choose to play in the LIV Series.
“If you so choose to want, as an independent contractor, to come and play with us, we’ve got your back,” he continued.
“I’ll break it down to three very simple things: we’ll defend, we’ll reimburse, and we’ll represent.”
The LIV Series will offer purses of $25 million per event, which is about three times the pot of a regular PGA Tour event, and nearly twice of majors. To put that into perspective, this week’s Byron Nelson has a purse of $9 million while next week’s PGA Championship put up $15 million in cash payouts.
The first season (2022) will feature eight events, contested on three continents, with players competing as individuals and on teams (similar to F1 racing).
Norman also noted that an additional $2 billion in funding had been secured for a 10-event series in 2023, and eventually a full 16-event league, beginning in 2024.