LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman appreciates Rory McIlroy ‘falling on his sword’ and coming around to the existence of the Saudi-funded league…
Greg Norman has thanked Rory McIlroy for his dramatic shift in attitude towards LIV Golf.
The Northern Irishman admitted to being too judgmental of players leaving for the Saudi-backed circuit when talking on the Stick to Football podcast.
Norman believes McIlroy’s criticism since the new league’s birth was made without “knowing the facts” and maintained that LIV has always wanted to work with the PGA Tour.
The comments from both sides represent a cooling in hostility compared with previous exchanges during the PGA Tour and LIV’s heated relationship.
“I’ve got to be honest with you – I’m very appreciative of what Rory said,” LIV Golf’s chief executive told the Fairway to Heaven podcast.
“It’s been a painful couple of years. What we have done is been consistent. Our narrative has been consistent. Our delivering mechanism has been consistent.
“The reason I say I appreciate Rory to fall on his sword to some degree is the fact that he did judge us by not knowing the facts. He judged us on other people’s thoughts and opinions.
“We wanted to sit down from day one with them to completely make them understand the value of the LIV footprint, business model and the impact it can make on the game of golf. I say ‘hey thank you Rory’.
“We all knew it was going to work within the golf ecosystem. We all want to be there, we are going to be there – he said that. To me, this is a significant turning point for everybody.”
Sit down is precisely what the tour and the Public Investment Fund did in 2023 as they worked towards a framework agreement which is yet to be signed.
The parties failed to meet the December 31 deadline and they’re now reportedly aiming to reach a compromise before the Masters.
Tour figures such as McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele are now keen for golf to be united again and soon.
Don’t pile on Rory McIlroy: Phil Mickelson wants ‘positive future’ after hearing comments
Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson has never been shy to pass judgment on the PGA Tour.
Before joining LIV Golf at the start of 2022, the American accused the tour of “obnoxious greed” and has since described it as “trending downwards.”
However, Mickelson believes McIlroy’s comments are a chance to finally call time on tension across golf’s divide.
“This quote and the many others made today by Rory probably weren’t easy to say. Let’s not use this as an opportunity to pile on,” he posted on X/Twitter.
“Rather, It’s time for me and others to let go of our hostilities and work towards a positive future.
“Rahms’ signing is turning into a bridge to bring both sides together, as evidenced by the many comments today and a month ago about changing the rules for the Ryder Cup so Jon and others can play, so let’s use it as such.
“Until an agreement is reached it will be business as usual for both sides but hopefully without the needless disdain.”
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