LIV Golf boss Greg Norman rejects other states, locks in Adelaide

LIV Golf boss Greg Norman rejects other states, locks in Adelaide
  • PublishedApril 24, 2024

Greg Norman has rejected lucrative offers from other states to declare Adelaide as the sole LIV Golf host in Australia for the foreseeable future.

LIV Golf’s chief executive says he’s rewarding the South Australian government for taking an initial risk by knocking back other interest.

Queensland and Western Australia were among aggressive bidders for LIV to expand in Australia, but Norman says Adelaide’s will remain the only tournament.

“Has there been interest from other states? Yes, absolutely there has been,” Norman told reporters in Adelaide on Wednesday

“But we were in South Australia first.

“The premier took on the responsibility of taking on LIV right from the outset, not too sure about the result.

“But now, because he’s done that and because South Australia has done that, we’ve got to look at that into the future as well.”

SA Premier Peter Malinauskas said his government was willing to extend as a LIV host beyond the current deal’s 2026 expiration.

“We’re certainly keen to engage because we think that this event is rapidly becoming part of the economic story of the state,” Malinauskas told reporters.

LIV Golf’s Adelaide second edition starts on Friday at The Grange, with crowd capacity increased by 50 per cent to about 120,000 over the three rounds.

Norman described the Adelaide tournament as a blueprint for LIV, while shooting down speculation the breakaway tour had made a pitch to lure Rory McIlroy.

The popular Northern Irishman and US PGA Tour stalwart was rumoured to have been offered $US1.3 billion ($2 billion) to switch to LIV.

“LIV never put an offer to him, this is just typical white noise that gets out there in the industry,” Norman said.

“If Rory was willing to sit down and have a conversation with us, would we be happy to sit down with him? One hundred per cent.

“No different than any other player who’d be interested in coming and playing with us.

“I have 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 said ‘well, that’s not what we’re told in the locker room and this is really impressive’.

“But he made the decision, he called me up two days later and said ‘I’ve decided to stay where I’m at’.

“I said ‘happy days, you’ve made a decision on fact, and if you’re happier over there, fine, stay there — the door is always open if you want to come back and have a conversation’.”

Norman said he had no insight into negotiations between LIV and the US PGA Tour who, some 10 months ago, announced a “framework agreement” for unity.

LIV recruit and former world No.1 Jon Rahm also had no inkling of any progress.

“There’s a lot of unknowns, I think, on everybody’s side,” Rahm told reporters.

“I haven’t spoken to enough players on the PGA Tour to know what their position is, to be honest, so I don’t know if it’s impatience or just lack of knowledge in general.

“But I think we all want to see this resolved, and like I’ve said many times, we have the opportunity to take golf to the next level in the global market.

“If done properly, we can end up with a better product for everybody.”

SOURCE: ABCNEWS

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