Greg Norman may be walking into a financial bloodbath but he simply doesn’t care right now where his $350 million ends up.
Greg Norman still believes he’ll win the war, but the opening battle is looming as a bloodbath for his rebel golf league.
The Aussie golfing legend is spearheading the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series that has threatened to shake the sport to its core.
Watch LIVE coverage from The USPGA Tour with Fox Sports on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
The tour announced last year the PIF — the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund — had committed more than $AUD260 million for Norman to play with.
However, reports in February claimed the Super Golf League — and the LIV Golf Investments firm running it — has a war chest of nearly $3 billion to steal the world’s best players and establish its own tour as a legitimate body in golf.
The new league was dealt what seemed a killer blow during the Genesis Invitational last month when world number one Jon Rahm led a chorus of the world’s top players who committed their futures to the US PGA Tour. Rory McIlroy said the new tour was “dead in the water”.
The series has taken hit after hit just to make it to the starting line — now the world finally gets to see what all the fuss is about when the first tournament begins in London from June 9.
The world is not likely to fall in love with what it sees — but Norman now says he doesn’t care.
The eight-tournament series boasts a prize money pool of approximately $350 million — and that’s what counts, Norman says.
The world’s best golfers have snubbed Norman, but the former World No. 1 is confident they will change their mind when they get a look at the prize money being tossed around.
“Quite honestly, it doesn’t matter who plays, we’re going to put the event on,” Norman told the UK Telegraph.
“There’s a ($5.8 million) first prize. I hope a kid who’s 350th in the world wins. It’ll change his life, his family’s life.
“And then a few of our events will go by and the top players will see someone winning ($8.06 million), ($10.76 million), and say ‘enough is enough, I know I can beat these guys week in week out with my hands tied behind my back’.”
He says discussions with other big-name golfers are ongoing.
Norman in March also shrugged off a series of detrimental developments and wrote an open letter telling the world’s best golfers to abandon the pro circuit without fear of further disciplinary action from the US PGA Tour.
However, according to reports, all the money in the world couldn’t convince golf’s biggest stars to side with Norman as they remain loyal to the PGA.
Bryson DeChambeau is reported to have knocked back on offer worth more than $180 million to join Norman’s new league — and he’s not the only top player snubbing the Aussie legend.
Dustin Johnson rejected the Saudi league and in February Rory McIlroy hit out, saying: “Who’s left? Who’s left to go? I mean, there’s no one. It’s dead in the water in my opinion. Yeah, I just can’t see any reason why anyone would go.”
Norman conceded the tour may start with a “modest” amount of players, but would grow when others saw the concept.
“None of us should stand for these egregious acts of bullying by the PGA Tour,” Norman wrote, according to golfchannel.com.
“We encourage you to request the PGA Tour provide you with these threats in writing and written opinions of its outside counsel that these bans are legal and enforceable.
“It would not surprise us if the Tour is unwilling to do so.”
He said the SGL hopes to co-exist with the PGA Tour.