Golf legend Greg Normanwho is serving as the commissioner of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series, is firing back at critics who say he’s fronting for a tour financed by “blood money.”
In his first US television interview since LIV Golf’s launch, Norman defended the venture Saturday Night during his appearance on One Nation with Brian Kilmeade.
“The European PGA Tour since 2009, had a golf tournament, the Saudi International that’s still in existence since 2019,” Norman said. “And during that Saudi International, there were PGA Tour players who were given rights and waivers to go play there. So to me, if golf is good for the world, golf is good for Saudi, and you’re seeing that growth internally, it’s extremely impressive.”
Kilmeade noted the recent criticism of LIV Golf from famed sportscaster Bob Costas.
“This is blood money,” Costas said. “It’s just no two ways around it. It’s blood money. … This is Saudi blood money.”
Norman, who — thus far — has lured away mostly past-their-prime players such as Phil Mickelson with massive contracts, took exception to those words.
“I’m disappointed people go down that path, quite honestly,” Norman said — before going on to argue that the PGA Tour is also benefitting from Saudi Arabia. “Look, if they want to look at it in prism, then why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors within the PGA Tour doing 40 plus billion dollars worth of business with Saudi Arabia? Why is it okay for the sponsors? Why is it okay, Brian, that there’s a Saudi sponsor, Aramco, the largest sponsor of women’s golf in the world? Why is it okay for them? Why is it not okay for these players? Will [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay Monahan go to each and every one of those CEOs of the 23 companies that are investing into Saudi Arabia and suspend them and ban them?
“The hypocrisy in all this, it’s so loud. It’s deafening, Brian. And really, when we when we’re not going anywhere, we want to do what’s right for the serving, the fans, for the players, and for our commercial business model. We are going to forge forward. And there’s been a lot of obstacle, Brian, no question about it. There’s been a lot of obstacles at the PGA Tour’s thrown in our path. But you know what? We’ve worked around it because golf is a force for good.”
LIV Golf stages its first US event in Oregon on June 30. Several courses owned by former President Donald Trump are slated to host tournaments later in the year.
Watch above, via Fox News.
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