Ahead of the Saudi Arabia-backed tour’s fifth event in Chicago this weekend, Norman revealed that he has tried to have conversations in the past with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan in figuring out a way for both leagues to coexist. There will be no more efforts to have a sit-down with Monahan, Norman said.
“We have no interest in sitting down with them, to be honest with you, because our product is working,” Norman told The Australian in an interview this week, via ESPN.
ESPN reports that Norman’s attempts to communicate with Monahan included a Feb. 24 letter and voicemail before LIV Golf announced its 2022 schedule. Norman accused Monahan of going too far in his punishments for PGA Tour players who defect to LIV Golf. Monahan has suspended players who have competed in LIV Golf events without conflicting-event releases.
“Simply put, you can’t ban players from playing golf,” Norman wrote in the letter. “Players have the right and the freedom to play where we like. I know for a fact that many PGA players were and still are interested in playing for a new league, in addition to playing for the Tour.
“… What is wrong with allowing players to make their own decisions about where to play and how often to play? What is so wrong with player choice? Why do you feel so threatened that you would resort to such a desperate, unwise, and unenforceable threat?”
Greg Norman, LIV Golf Sign Multiple Major Winners
Norman and LIV Golf have made splash signings which include a handful of former major winners. Those include Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Bubba Watson. All came to LIV Golf with signing bonuses reportedly worth $100 to $200 million.
Smith, the 2022 Open Championship winner, has taken his fair share of criticism for joining LIV Golf. PGA Tour legend Gary Player lambasted Smith in an interview with BBC last month.
“Here’s a young man I really thought was going to be a superstar. Now, what sort of future does he have?” Player said. “Will he be able to realize this great dream of being a champion? I don’t know. I don’t blame [Henrik] Stenson for going. He had no money, so he had to go. But this is a potential superstar. I think his advisors have given him the wrong advice.”