With the newly announced merger of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf taking effect, nothing will change for the LIV model, at least according to its CEO Greg Norman.
“LIV is and will continue to be a standalone enterprise,” Norman said, according to an unnamed person who wished to not be identified. “Our business model will not change. We changed history and we’re not going anywhere.”
The source was on a 30-minute call, which according to Sports Illustrated, contained more than 100 people and information on any changes for the Saudi-backed LIV Golf and the upcoming schedule.
“The spigot is now wide open for commercial sponsorships, blue-chip companies, TV networks,” the individual added, speaking on what Norman said.
Norman also took to Twitter to give his initial thoughts on the merger which caught most, if not all, players by surprise.
“A great day in global golf for players and fans alike. The journey continues,” he wrote.
A great day in global golf for players and fans alike. The journey continues!!
— Greg Norman (@SharkGregNorman) June 6, 2023
The merger naturally left a bad taste in the mouth of many, including the families of the 9/11 victims. Especially after such a tumultuous relationship between the two parties. When asked about that on Tuesday in an interview with the Golf Channel, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan stumbled through a non-answer about confidentiality.
“I think about the fact that I allowed confidentiality to prevail here,” Monahan said. “And in allowing confidentiality to prevail, I did not communicate to very important constituents, including the families of 9/11, and I regret that. I really do. But as we sit here today, I think it’s important to reiterate that I feel like the move that we’ve made and how we move forward, is in the best interest of our sport.”
While Norman is bullish about LIV’s future, it’s of note that his name hadn’t been mentioned in any of the news releases sent out about the merger.
Rory McIlroy, who has been openly critical of Norman many times in the past, seemed to accept the PGA Tour’s merger with the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund. But he was strong in his stance that LIV had no future in professional golf.
“I still hate LIV. Like, I *hate* LIV. I hope it goes away and fully expect that it does. I think that’s where the distinction here is – this the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the PIF.”
We’ll see whether Norman’s outlook or McIlroy’s prevails regarding the future of LIV Golf.