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Tiger Woods and Greg Norman at the 2011 Australian Open.
Greg Norman, in response to comments made by Tiger Woods saying he should step down as LIV Golf CEO, called the 15-time major winner “a bit of a mouthpiece for the PGA Tour.”
“Well, I think, yeah, sad for Tiger,” Norman said this weekend on Fox News’ One Nation with Brian Kilmeade, when asked by the host for an answer to Woods’ thought. “You know, unfortunately he made a comment that he doesn’t know the facts about, because obviously I’m still here. Obviously he doesn’t control what we do with LIV. So just making those comments I think is an indication that he might be a bit of a mouthpiece for the PGA Tour to try and get us to create, or get turmoil created internally within LIV.
“But it’s not happening. We are fully entrenched. We know where we are going. We know what we’re doing.”
Norman’s response comes as his LIV Series and the Tour continue a near year-long fight that has seen Saudi-backed LIV offer guaranteed money to Tour players, the Tour create changes in response, the sides sue each other — and both Woods and Rory McIlroy offer a potential solution. At the DP World Tour Championship in November, McIlroy was first.
“So I think there’s a few things that need to happen,” he said. “So there’s obviously two lawsuits going on at the minute — there’s PGA Tour versus LIV, and there’s this one that’s coming up with the DP World Tour in February. Nothing will happen if those two things are still going on, especially — yeah, you’re limited in what you can do.
“And then I think from whatever happens with those two things, there’s a few things that I would like to see on the LIV side that needs to happen. I think Greg needs to go. I think he just needs to exit stage left. He’s made his mark, but I think now is the right time to sort of say, look, you’ve got this thing off the ground, but no one is going to talk unless there’s an adult in the room that can actually try to mend fences.”
Woods then echoed the thought two weeks later.
“I see that there’s an opportunity out there if both organizations put a stay on their litigation,” Woods said at the Hero World Challenge, which he hosted. “But that’s the problem — they’ve got to put a stay on it. And whether or not they do that or not, there’s no willingness to negotiate if you have a litigation against you.
“So if they both have a stay and then have a break and then they can meet and figure something out, then maybe there is something to be had. But I think Greg has to go, first of all, and then obviously litigation against us and then our countersuit against them, those would then have to be at a stay as well. So then we can talk, we can all talk freely.”
Notably, Norman had previously told Today’s Golfer that he pays “zero attention” to Woods and McIlroy, and that he has full support of his Saudi Arabian backers. A Norman response on the One Nation with Brian Kilmeade show — that Woods “made a comment that he doesn’t know the facts about, because obviously I’m still here” — was misleading, too; by suggesting Norman leave, Woods knew that Norman was with the organization.
Also on the One Nation with Brian Kilmeade show, Norman was asked about LIV players’ “incentive to win.” LIV players, of course, have signed guaranteed-money contracts, while the PGA Tour pays its players through performance.
“I would say most of the top players in the world have also gone somewhere to get appearance money, right,” Norman said. “You get appearance money to play. You play for the prize money when you get there. It’s an incentive for the players, as independent contractors, to supplement their income. It’s no different.
“We had to create teams. We had to create leadership. We had to create 12 principal players. Those 12 principal players brought in three other players to create 48 players. We needed them to come on board. To get them to come on board, we have to pay them a commitment fee. And they get paid an annual fee. No different than the NFL or any other league.”
Editor’s note: To listen to the entire interview, please click here.
Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at email@example.com.
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