The next wave of signings for Greg Norman‘s breakaway golf tour will reportedly include a couple of British Open winners, headlined by its newly-minted champion, Cameron Smith, according to a report by Reuters.
The other LIV signee is 2016 Champion Golfer of the Year, Henrik Stenson, who also happens to be the current Ryder Cup captain for Team Europe. The Swede won five times on the PGA Tour and another 10 times on the European Tour. Nicknamed the Iceman, Stenson is the only player to win the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai in the same season (2013).
Henrik Stenson is expected to join LIV Golf imminently and to be stripped of the Ryder Cup captaincy
— Jamie Weir (@jamiecweir) July 17, 2022
Smith, though, is the big get for Norman, the two-time Open winner, who was unceremoniously disinvited to the 150th celebration by R&A chief Martin Slumbers.
“Greg (Norman) had no intention of attending but Slumbers sent out a statement to embarrass him publicly,” said the source.
“This is the ultimate counterpunch by Norman.”
Losing the world No. 2 Smith would be an embarrassing blow to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan as well as the R&A’s Slumber, who publicly attacked LIV in a scathing press conference last week.
The 28-year-old Aussie has won three times already this season on the PGA Tour, including two of its elite events: the season-opening Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, and The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass, the tour’s flagship tournament. Now sitting second in points, behind only Scottie Scheffler, does Smith wait until the end of the playoffs (one more month) or leave now and work the guaranteed FedExCup money he’d forfeit into LIV contract?
Announcements are expected on Tuesday, which may also include Smith’s Aussie compatriots, Marc Leishman and 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott. (Pro Golf Weekly has not yet confirmed those two signings.)
Other reports have LIV close to signing Englishman Tommy Fleetwood and two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson.
Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Hideki Matsuyama are also mulling over nine-figure contracts from LIV. All three stars are not expected to sign until the PGA Tour’s postseason concludes next month.
One source said, “The field for the LIV Golf Boston event, Sep. 2-4, will be absolutely loaded with top-ranked names including two names that will shock the world.”
Tour could have prevented mass exodus with forward thinking.
Soon LIV will have leverage to negotiate with Official World Ranking folks, w/ Augusta….while PGA of America, R & A, and Tour dig their heels in more.
Bottom LIne? I watch a lot of professional golf on TV, including LPGA and LET (funded by Saudi’s BTW). I would now rather watch LIV Tour event than average PGA Tour event. I am not alone.
Jay’s changes to the schedule and purses can be accredited to LIV. In my view the Saudis are the biggest snakes in the Middle East but that has not stopped many Fortune 100 companies from doing business with them. If a network like USA buys into broadcasting LIV, sponsors will follow including some of the fore mentioned. A couple of big name signings in August plus the Trump factor (like it or not) can influence viewership.
Film at 11
The PGA Tour China was a tour that the PGA Tour happily ran until 2020 when it ceased due to COVID
Yes, it ceased due to COVID…not due to any moral outrage of China’s human rights atrocities
If you listened to Rory last week at St Andrews. The narrative is changing. The moral argument is being buried IMO.
I think they realize it’s a messy world we live in, geopolitically (see Biden over in Saudi begging for oil), so playing the “blood money” card is bound to backfire particularly when they sponsor everything else including women’s golf.
Rory essentially said he’s no longer against Saudi money he just thinks it’d be better spent on the existing ecosystem (i.e. the PGA TOUR) and not as a disrupting force.
This makes no sense. The existing infrastructure is a monopoly and would have no enticement to change if flushed with billions in Saudi money. As a disruptor, the PGAT is forced to compete.
Either way Pro Golf does not bring in enough TV money pinto offer both.PGA BRINGS in about the same as NHL hockey