12.10.2022, India: WION– India’s first and only international news channel, spoke exclusively with Liv Golf CEO and former World No. 1 Greg Norman on the sidelines of the Liv Bangkok invitational. He addressed a wide range of issues amid the battle between the LIV Series and the PGA Tour, who he accused of being ‘hypocrites’.
Sharing his views on the competition with PGA he said, “You can’t run through a brick wall without getting bloody. This brick wall that has been put out in front of us has been put up for 53 years. PGA tour never had any competition for 53 years. No tour owns a game of golf. We don’t own the game of golf. We don’t want to own the game of golf. We want the game of golf to be beneficial, to be about what we are, what we have and what we can give. So, I don’t get frustrated about it. It will all work itself out. LIV is not going to go anywhere. LIV is just going to go keep growing and growing and when we launch LIV next year you are going to see a change in the momentum, you are going to see a change in the enthusiasm of players, you are going to see change with the fans,”
He further emphasized that this is the debut of LIV, and the plans of following the ‘IPL’ model, he said, “Well, they are not ready to embrace change because they didn’t recognise it themselves. I mean stuck in their own box right from 53 years they’ve doing the same thing. It is very boring; it is very stale. Kerry Packer changed the way cricket was played, and the IPL came out of it. Test cricket never died right, so what you are seeing here with LIV is the same thing – just a different platform, different model,”
He added that the series’ journey shouldn’t be judged so early on. He added, “The business model is great. It has been received extremely well, so, other people can have their opinions and say what they want to say. Just be consistent. They are being consistent and when you understand what a business model truly is you’ll understand that it is a 100% beneficial to the entire golfing eco-system and like I said the players are loving it,”
He has face multiple criticisms on his approach he said, “Certain friends have judged me and my decision to take the game of golf, which is a force for good, and just grow it and create new value. Some of them have judged me for the wrong reasons and that disappoints me the most… but, the only people who have been against it have been the monopolists. They are the ones trying to break us down, they are the ones who are trying to destroy us. We’ve never tried to destroy any other tour organization,”
The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) has refused to award ranking points to the LIV Circuit, as they staging a brand-new tournament series of limited, closed-field events that satisfy only a portion of the OWGR criteria. Yet Norman has defended the circuit and said, “It is a setback for them because quite honestly my players should have it. There are 22 tours out there I believe that have world rankings points. There is only one that is even equal or a little bit superior to what LIV is. Only one out of those twenty-twos. So, it doesn’t make sense from a Majors perspective. It doesn’t make sense from a broadcaster’s perspective. You are paying and investing for your strength of field and by degrading the strength of the field, by not allowing LIV players to get OWGR points is not doing the game of golf any good,” He further insinuated that OWGR should rise above things and grow up!