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The launch of the LIV Golf Invitational Series has predictably caused a stir in the game. Now, Greg Norman, the CEO of the group behind the competition, has said it’s generating plenty of interest from some of the world’s top players.
In an article per Golf.com, the 67-year-old said of the competition, getting under way at London's Centurion Club in June: “I’ve got to tell you, from a player’s perspective, the amount of response [has been] unbelievably positive. I’m talking about single-digit ranked players in the world, emailing me first thing this morning, just so excited to hear about what we have to say and what we’ve got.”
In the hours before the official launch, Sir Nick Faldo was one of the most prominent figures to cast doubt on the appeal of the series for players and questioned whether it would ever get off the ground, saying: “They’re not going to till out 10 million as a guarantee to names we don’t know. It seems more like it’s exhibition golf with a wonderful guarantee to me. I’m not sure how they can make it happen.” However, Norman’s bullish comment suggests those views may be premature.
Nevertheless, of the current top 10, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa have pledged their allegiance to the PGA Tour in recent weeks. Whether the launch of the series has turned the heads of some of them or whether others currently occupying the top spots have declared their interest to Norman remains to be seen. However, with PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan declaring as recently as last week that the Tour was moving on from the saga, it remains to be seen how any renewed interest from its top stars would square with that intention. Before that, in a mandatory players' meeting before the Honda Classic, Monahan reportedly informed players that anyone joining the league would be banned from the PGA Tour.
Norman has consistently said that players are ‘independent contractors’ and, as a result, the PGA Tour can’t ban players from joining other leagues. In a news release to coincide with the launch, he said: "We have done our best to create a schedule that allows players to play elsewhere, while still participating in our events. I believe players will increasingly make progress in achieving their right to play where they want.” In light of his latest comment, the veracity of that claim could soon be put to the test.
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.