Norman Aims Dig At McIlroy As LIV Golf Feud Intensifies

The Australian has hit out at McIlroy over his total number of wins and the time he has spent atop of the world ranking

Greg Norman during the third day of the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series Tournament
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Greg Norman has slammed Rory McIlroy after the Northern Irishman surpassed his total number of PGA Tour wins with victory at the RBC Canadian Open earlier this year.

Immediately after the putt dropped, the 33-year-old began his on-course celebrations with a jibe at the LIV Golf CEO: "This is a day I'll remember for a long, long time. My 21st PGA Tour win - one more than someone else. That gave me a little extra incentive today and I'm happy to get that."

Norman amassed 20 PGA Tour wins during his decorated career, with the last coming at the 1997 NEC World Series Of Golf in a four shot victory over LIV Golf counterpart, Phil Mickelson.

Although McIlroy's comments came back in June, they remained on Norman's mind in a recent interview with Australian Golf Digest, where the 67-year-old took aim at one of the game's biggest critics of his rival circuit.

"I respect Rory but I am somewhat confused by his approach,” he said. "But then, he is paid to sit on the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council, so he is obviously going to support the Tour. I do know he has asked for sizeable appearance fees to play in Saudi Arabia.

"His comments also show competition is a wonderful thing. I take it as a compliment that he wanted to beat my 20 PGA Tour wins. His next goal should be to win more than 91 tournaments globally or to maintain No.1 in the world for more than 331 weeks."

McIlroy, who is third in the Official World Golf Ranking, celebrated 100 weeks at World No.1 earlier this year but falls considerably short to that of his Australian rival. The Northern Irishman has four Major titles to his name, two more than Norman, but almost a third of his wins worldwide.

Since the emergence of the LIV Golf Series and the threat it has placed on golf's established ecosystem, it is apparent a rivalry has brewed between the pair. McIlroy has remained outspoken about the circuit, describing it as "nothing more than a money grab" and insisted players have "taken the easy way out" in respect to accepting large signing on fees.

Commissioner and CEO Greg Norman recently announced plans to expand the Series into a fully fledged League in 2023, with 48 players and 12 established team franchises competing in an expanded 14-tournament schedule – and an enormous $405m total prize purse, a huge increase on the $225m on offer for this year’s eight-tournament Series.

McIlroy joined Tiger Woods and a select number of PGA Tour stars in a private meeting to discuss how the Tour can combat the longstanding threat of the Saudi-backed venture. The meeting took place at the location of this week's second playoff event - BMW Championship - in Wilmington, Delaware.

James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.