Monday, May 20, 2024

Norman denies LIV approach for McIlroy – Irish Golfer Magazine

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Greg Norman has confirmed that LIV Golf have never made an approach to try and coax Rory McIlroy away from the PGA Tour.

Norman, the LIV Golf CEO also said that he would be willing to have a conversation with McIlroy about joining the Saudi backed breakaway tour.

After another disappointing Masters performance, it was reported that McIlroy was mulling over an $850 million offer to join LIV he quickly shot that down at the RBC Heritage last week and Norman said no offer was tabled.

“I’ll make the comment if you look back over that time period of that dialogue that was going, there wasn’t one comment about LIV. LIV never put an offer to him,” said Norman ahead of LIV Golf Adelaide. “We didn’t need to make a comment about this. This is just typical white noise that gets out there in the industry.

“If Rory was willing to sit down and have a conversation with us, would we be happy to sit down with him? 100 percent, no different than any other player who would be interested in coming on and playing with us.

“It’s understanding the facts about what LIV represents and what LIV can deliver on a global basis. It’s up to you to determine it. I’ve sat down with one top, top PGA TOUR player in his house with another member of my team, walking through the whole process, and he was so impressed — he said, well, that’s not what we’re told in the locker room. This is really impressive.

“But he made the decision — he told me up two days later and said, I’ve decided to stay where I’m at. I said, happy days. You made a decision on fact. If you’re happier over here, fine, stay there. Your door is always open; if you want to come back and have a conversation with us, happy to do that.”

Norman and McIlroy may yet still play under the same roof if the proposed framework agreement can be finalised. Nothing has been agreed between the PGA Tour and LIV since its announcement ten months ago and it seems like golf is still a long way away from sorting itself out.

“I would love to give you insight but I don’t have any. We at LIV are totally separate to that part of the negotiation. We at LIV are a standalone company being invested by the same investor interested in the game of golf,” said Norman.

“Now, this goes back 10 minutes ago what I said to Evan was investment dollars are flowing into the game of golf for the right reasons, not for the wrong reasons. Our investor wanted to invest into LIV because he loved the opportunity of the franchise model, what he could do with it and how we can build it out on a global platform.

“So me specifically, I don’t know what’s going on over there. I really don’t want to know what’s going on over there because we are so fixated on growing and developing and building out what LIV is today and looking and doing our schedule for 2025 and going into 2026. Our responsibility is to look after our people, our players, and where we want to go. I don’t have an answer.”

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