'Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery' - Norman Takes Dig At PGA Tour

Norman made his feelings known via a piece in the Wall Street Journal, as he attacked the PGA Tour for copying LIV Golf's innovations

Norman stares on with LIV Golf gear
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Writing an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab), LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman, stated that "LIV Golf is the best thing that has ever happened to the careers of professional golfers" and "the (World) ranking system must be independent if it is to be credible."

Recently, the PGA Tour's Commissioner, Jay Monahan, announced a number of wholesale changes to combat the ongoing and future threat posed by the Saudi-backed series. Now, just under a month later, Norman has taken a dig at the PGA Tour, writing: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

Jay Monahan 2022 Tour Championship Press Conference

Monahan announced changes to the PGA Tour back in early September

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 67-year-old went on to add: "It is also what you get when a serious challenger suddenly confronts a 54-year-old entrenched monopoly. On Aug. 24, the PGA Tour responded to LIV Golf by boosting its purses, setting a pay floor, and structuring events so that fans get to see the tour’s best players... 

"It is a classic case of competition benefiting workers and customers. LIV Golf is the best thing that has ever happened to the careers of professional golfers. The PGA Tour never would have changed without it."

A number of big names have jumped ship to LIV Golf, with Cameron Smith the 12th Major winner to join the Saudi-backed series. Not only has the current Champion Golfer of the Year joined LIV, but he is also No.3 in the World Rankings.

However, LIV Golf are yet to secure OWGR points for its tournaments, something that Norman says "needs to change." He went on to add: "The Official World Golf Ranking system determines not only a golfer’s ranking, but also his qualification for major tournaments and the Olympics.

Smith plays a chip shot with a LIV Golf banner behind him

Smith finished T4 on his LIV Golf debut, pocketing around $1 million for his efforts

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"These rankings heavily influence how much sponsors pay players. The ranking system must be independent if it is to be credible. With a board dominated by the PGA Tour, the Official World Golf Ranking currently excludes LIV Golf events. That needs to change. If it doesn’t, fans and sponsors won’t know who is the best in the sport."

It's not the first time that Norman has ranted about the World Rankings. Recently, he sent a letter to the OWGR citing the strength of the fields in LIV events as a reason to be included, despite the events not fulfilling certain criteria, like a 36-hole cut or 72-hole tournament length. 

Following the letter, Norman featured in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald (opens in new tab) in which he doubled down on his thoughts that the OWGR will cease to be relevant if they ignore those playing with LIV.

“It makes OWGR look obsolete if they don’t (accept LIV). If they wake up at the end of the year and Dustin Johnson is 102 in the world, is that not a laughing stock to the OWGR? There’s two ways they can go: they can either fold, or they include LIV into OWGR.”

Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.