LIV GOLF MIAMI
Greg Norman speaks publicly for the first time in 4 months, says he's never worried about losing his job
DORAL, Fla. — Greg Norman spoke Thursday for the first time since June 6, when the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund made a surprise announcement that they had established a framework agreement to work together. There were also reports that part of that agreement meant that Norman would be forced to step aside as one of LIV Golf’s top lieutenants.
However, at Trump Doral, Norman voiced confidence in his position as commissioner and said the league's future is not in doubt as a deal continues to be negotiated. The agreement essentially means the three tours will attempt to create a new, for-profit entity and that PIF, the financiers of LIV Golf, would be minority investors. The framework deal has a Dec. 31 deadline, but that could be extended.
Norman spoke with a small group of reporters at this week’s LIV Golf Team Championship at Doral, a former PGA Tour venue where Norman won in 1990, 1993 and 1996.
“I knew it wasn’t true,” Norman said regarding reports of his potential ousting. “There’s so much white noise running around out there, I paid very, very, I actually paid zero attention to it. I know sitting in this seat today, I know every step I’ve made has been for the right reasons, right reasons for the game of golf. … So I was never in any fear of anybody saying anything or any animus against me or anything like that. Because the business model works.”
The two-time Open champion and former World No. 1 said LIV's 2024 schedule—which officials say will be released within weeks—was an indication the league was full steam ahead. LIV will have eight overseas events and six in the U.S. New international events will be held in Hong Kong and South Korea, while the league will return to Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Singapore, Spain and England.
"As we look forward into 2024, we’ve got a full schedule now, some places we’ve been to before, but we’ve got some new venues as well, reaching different new regions," Norman said.
Norman, 68, said he had not been involved in discussions with the PIF and PGA Tour about the framework agreement, but he hoped corporate investment would be welcomed by the PGA Tour.
"The framework agreement, I hope it happens for the PGA Tour as well, too,” he said. “I hope that works because that’s the best thing for golf, creating this value chain that’s been sitting idle for 53 years.
“The framework agreement really is a bit of a catalyst because of recognizing the commercialization of what we are doing here at LIV. Private equity has never been invested in the game. We’re an asset class now. And that asset class is in the teams. … So we’re in that position now where the true valuation of where we were in the beta season to the valuation of where we are today is real and going up and up and up.
“LIV is independent. I don’t see LIV going anywhere but up.”