Greg Norman isn’t worried about the future of LIV Golf or his role within it.
LIV’s CEO and commissioner made that clear Thursday when he spoke publicly for the first time since the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia stunningly agreed to a framework agreement that would align men’s professional golf for years to come.
Norman’s own future within the framework has been questioned since the parties announced June 6 that they had signed the agreement. During a Senate hearing in July regarding the planned alliance, documents showed that PGA Tour officials pushed to oust Norman as LIV’s CEO and commissioner during their negotiations with the DP World Tour and PIF (which finances LIV Golf) if the proposed partnership was finalized, with him instead taking on a to-be-determined advisory role.
Norman, however, said he never believed any of it.
“I knew it wasn’t true,” the two-time Open Championship winner told reporters in Doral, Florida, where LIV’s season-ending $50 million team championship begins Friday at Trump National. “There’s so much white noise running around out there that I paid zero attention to because I know sitting in this seat today, I know every step I’ve made has been for the right reasons, right reasons for the game of golf.”
What the future of that game looks like remains unclear.
Last week, the PGA Tour said in a memo to players that while it remains focused on reaching a definitive agreement with PIF and the DP World Tour, it also is receiving interest from other potential investors. Sources told ESPN that while the negotiations with PIF chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan and other officials with the country’s sovereign wealth fund are ongoing, the proposed deal is far from getting done for a variety of reasons.
The framework agreement that was announced June 6 expires Dec. 31, although it could be extended, sources told ESPN.
“I have my own personal points what it is, but I’m not involved with it. I don’t want to be involved with it,” Norman told reporters on the negotiations over the framework agreement. “There’s smarter people involved with that than I am. I just hope it does work. I really do. I’ve always been a believer of that.”
In the meantime, LIV Golf is set to enter its third season in 2024, and optimism abounds.
Phil Mickelson hinted earlier this week that LIV’s roster will improve next year, especially with it back to being able to recruit players from other tours. And Norman, who’s been the frontman for LIV since its start, said Thursday the breakaway tour never has been in a better spot.
“All indications are showing that the position of LIV has never been stronger and that the success of our players and our brand has never been in a better place,” he told reporters in Doral. “And as we look forward into 2024, we’ve got a full schedule. We’ve got some places we’ve been to before, but we’ve got some new venues as well and we’re reaching different regions.”