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Norman Not Down For The Count

Norman Not Down For The Count

Golf fans were greeted with a bombshell late last week. No, Paulina and DJ didn’t split up.

Greg Norman was named CEO of LIV Golf Entertainment, a Saudi-backed collaboration with the Asian Tour.

A few things to consider amid a litany of questions:

  • 10-event series added to the Asian Tour (to increase field quality and purse sizes)
  • Give a new home to the Saudi International after it was removed from the European Tour
  • Financially backed by the $500 billion Saudi Public Investment Fund
  • This is not (wink, wink) related to previously proposed Super Golf League

As expected, this Saudi-Greg Norman “bro five” is not exactly painting Mr. Norman in the most positive light. Right now he’s about as celebrated as a drug-sniffing dog on Willie Nelson’s ranch.

This is feeling eerily similar to the catfight we previously documented between Norman and his favorite Roshambo punching bag, Tim Finchem, over the WGC events decades ago.

Although this union with the Asian Tour is not (wink, wink) foretelling of a future breakaway Tour to compete with the PGA Tour, let’s just say it appears the wheels may be in motion.

The goal for a rival tour, much like the WGC events (or Norman’s WGT), is to have a large group of high profile, global golf tournaments bringing together leading golfers more regularly:

  • Recognize the globalization of golf and not have the PGA Tour be golf’s epicenter
  • Large, guaranteed purses, appearance fees, all backed by wealthy supporters
  • World’s top players playing in select, non-PGA Tour sanctioned events

As imagined, this is going to be as popular with PGA Tour brass as getting seasick in a diving helmet.

In fact, similar to Tim Finchem’s response to Greg Norman’s original WGT, current PGA Tour ball buster Jay Monohan has spoken up in response to this new Saudi threat:

  • Not allowing waivers for players who want to play in the Saudi International
  • Threatened to punish players participating in any Saudi-backed events
  • Proposing a lifetime ban for any PGA Tour players joining a rival Tour

As with Tim Finchem before, don’t expect Greg Norman to send (nor receive) an invite to wine and/or dine with Jay Monahan. Suffice to say the only thing they would get together for is round two of South Park’s version of Roshambo.