Report: Greg Norman 'Not Expected' To Be Part Of Golf's New Future After Being Left Out Of Merger Talks

Greg Norman only found out about the huge PGA Tour merger with LIV Golf minutes before the announcement

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman
(Image credit: Getty Images)

“The journey continues” Greg Norman said on Twitter after the historic golfing merger was announced, but could it be the end of his own personal journey with LIV Golf after being kept in the dark about the entire thing?

Norman is the CEO of LIV Golf, but an important detail of the PGA Tour’s big merger is that the deal is with the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) and not with LIV Golf itself.

And while PIF boss Yasir Al-Rumayyan will be the chairman of the new all-powerful golfing entity, there was no mention of Norman being involved at all in the new structure.

And when Al-Rumayyan appeared on CNBC in America to announce the deal, he revealed that Norman had only just been told about the news minutes before it was revealed.

"He is aware,” said Al-Rumayyan. “I made a call just before this. Of course, he's a partner with us. All the stakeholders with us had a call right before this interview."

It’s not exactly the ringing endorsement Norman may have hoped for of his future involvement in the new world order in golf, and it’s now being reported that he won’t be involved at all.

Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig says a source has said that Norman “was not expected to be part of the venture going forward” after the merger was announced.

Norman is the figurehead of LIV Golf, but comments from PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan suggest he will now have a big say in the future of the team tournament, saying he will be “evaluating LIV and figuring out the direction for team golf going forward”.

Monahan also said that it was highly unlikely LIV Golf events in future would go head-to-head with big PGA Tour events, so the future of the entire enterprise is by no means certain.

Charl Schwartzel, Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Greg Norman standing on the final green of the Centurion Club at the end of the first LIV Golf Invitational

Yasir Al-Rumayyan did not exactly endorse Greg Norman as part of the future of golf

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Australian golfing legend Norman had the profile and gravitas to lead the LIV Golf revolution and launch a successful disturbance in the professional game, but it is thought in some circles that the organisation was just a vehicle to get Al-Rumayyan and the PIF a seat at golf’s top table.

And given Norman’s fractious relationship with the PGA Tour and his well-aired comments against the likes of Rory McIlroy and Jay Monahan, it’s also highly unlikely that he’d be working closely with anything on their side of the new golfing landscape.

One of LIV Golf’s main attractions for some was its role as a disruptor, but if it is now absorbed into a lesser role inside the PGA Tour, Norman could easily be seen as surplus to requirements.

This merger may well be seen as an overall victory for Norman in changing the golfing landscape, but it does not necessarily mean he’ll have as big a say in shaping the new future of the sport.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.