Greg Norman is taking the next step to legitimize the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
The new controversial golf startup CEO said on Saturday night that they will officially submit a “very compelling” application to the Official World Golf Rankings board of governors, which LIV hopes would allow its players to start earning points and climbing up the world rankings.
While making that announcement, Norman took a shot at PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan on Fox News. Monahan, who has repeatedly slammed the new Saudi Arabian-backed Tour, is one of the eight board members with the OWGR.
“It’ll be interesting to see if Jay Monahan recuses himself from that vote because of what he said on television with [CBS Sports announcer] Jim Nantz the other day,” Norman said, via ESPN. “So, it’s very interesting and it’s sad to be, you know, putting that additional exerting pressure on it because our tour is a good tour. It’s supported, it’s got an incredible field. Our point should be that if we get the OWGR points , then everything else takes care of itself.”
Players who currently compete in LIV Golf events do not earn OWGR points, which is used by major championships and other events to determine the field. If those players can’t compete on the PGA Tour or other tours, it will become increasingly difficult to make it into majors in the future.
For example, Rory McIlroy won 46 points in the world ranking for his win at the RBC Canadian Open last week, and the winner of the US Open will earn 100 points. Charl Schwartzel, who won the first LIV Golf event in London, didn’t earn anything.
It’s unclear how the LIV Golf series would receive points for each event if its application is approved. PGA Tour events are 72 holes with large fields while the LIV Golf series has just 48 players competing in just a handful of 54-hole events, so using the same point system wouldn’t make sense.
Monahan is joined by the DP World Tour CEO and the R&A’s chief executive on the board, along with the leaders of the USGA, the PGA of America, Augusta National Golf Club and the International Federation of PGA Tours. The chairman is Peter Dawson.
Monahan slammed Norman and LIV Golf in an interview during the final round of the RBC Canadian Open last week. Monahan and the Tour have suspended its players who left for the LIV Golf series indefinitely.
“It’s my job to protect, defend and celebrate our loyal PGA Tour members, our partners and our fans, and that’s exactly what I did,” Monahan said on the broadcast, in part. “I don’t think it’s a surprise to anybody how clear I had been about how we were going to handle the situation … Why do they need us so badly? Those players have chosen to sign multi-year lucrative contracts to play in a series of exhibition matches against the same players over and over again.”
Norman mad at PGA Tour’s ‘hypocrisy’
Norman also criticized Monahan and the PGA Tour after he was called out for working with Saudi Arabia. Norman, along with Phil Mickelson and others, has been heavily criticized for overlooking the horrific crimes and human rights abuses that Saudi Arabia has committed.
Norman even downplayed the killing of former Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by saying that “we’ve all made mistakes.”
“Look, I’m disappointed people go down that way, quite honestly,” Norman said, via ESPN. “If they want to look at it in prism, then why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors doing $40-plus billion worth of business with Saudi Arabia? Why is it okay for the sponsors? Will Jay Monahan go to each and every one of those CEOs of the 23 companies that are investing into Saudi Arabia and suspend them and ban them? The hypocrisy in all this, it’s so loud. It’s deafening.”