FLORIDA – The future of LIV Golf is in question following Tuesday’s surprise announcement that the PGA Tour would merge commercial enterprises with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which had previously been bankrolling LIV’s entry into the professional golf world.
But LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman does not see reason to worry, according to multiple reports.
Norman told LIV employees on a conference call this week that the new league is not going away, Sports Illustrated and ESPN reported.
“LIV is and will continue to be a standalone enterprise,” Norman told staffers, per Sports Illustrated. “Our business model will not change. We changed history, and we’re not going anywhere.”
Norman added that PIF’s deal with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour means “the spigot is now wide open for commercial sponsorships” and new business relationships.
Norman, who has been at the forefront of LIV’s battle with the PGA Tour, was not mentioned in any news release or communications about the PGA-PIF merger Tuesday. The proposed leadership structure of the new entity would see PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan as its chairman and current PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan as the CEO.
Norman was reportedly told about the deal minutes before Monahan and Al-Rumayyan appeared together for an interview on CNBC.
Even though LIV players may be given a path to return to the PGA Tour if they choose, LIV as a brand has become toxic to a large group of PGA Tour players who did not want the merger. Rory McIlroy said Wednesday that he still hates LIV, and if a team golf element comes to the PGA Tour, he hopes it is not under the LIV banner.
Norman reportedly told staff that LIV is already working on its schedule for 2025. As for 2023, the league has completed half of its 14-event schedule and is on a break until LIV Golf Valderrama in Spain from June 30 to July 2. REUTERS