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Apr 24, 2024 10:09 am

CEO Greg Norman: LIV open to 72 holes, didn’t offer Rory

Greg Norman

CEO Greg Norman and LIV Golf will consider the 72-hole, traditional professional golf tournament format while also weighing the financial implications of an added round to the upstart tour’s current three-day events.

As constituted, LIV Golf uses a no-cut, 54-hole format designed to soften what Norman termed the “economic impact” relative to the four-round template the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and other professional leagues follow.

Norman, seated alongside big-ticket free agent acquisition Jon Rahm in Adelaide, South Australia, said Wednesday that Rahm’s suggestion in a public setting last week to adapt to the existing format of traditional golf isn’t a new conversation at LIV Golf. Rahm outlined with a new analogy before his debut in Norman’s home country event why he brought up the format last week before the Masters.

“I made the analogy a little bit ago of why I think we can end up with a great product: In football, European football, you have the Premier League, you have the Spanish League, you have the German League, you have Serie A, you have the Champions League, the Euro Cup, many other things. The one thing I realized is they all play under the same set of rules,” Rahm said. “While we play under most … rules, the one key difference is 72 holes.”

Rahm nodded in Norman’s direction when he said, “LIV is a business. If it doesn’t fit the product, it doesn’t fit the product. I’m just a player. There are a lot of people that are a lot smarter than me that can figure it out and explain why they believe 54 holes may be better for them.”

Norman took a swing at just that.

“Jon hits the nail on the head. There’s no — when you can tee up on Friday, it’s a sprint to the end. There’s no warm-up time period to get you — I’m talking about from a player’s perspective now. … It is intense pressure on it straight away because you have to perform immediately right off the bat.

“It’s a great conversation to have. We will continue to have that conversation going forward. But we sit back and say, what value do we get on putting on television on Thursday? Now, how do we build out in the future? How do we get more people to the golf course? Maybe it is Thursday and you allow another 30,000 people coming in on a Thursday. There are things that we sit back and look at to see what is the most optimal solution to make this a better and better and better event, and 72 holes is discussed.”

Norman said he had nothing to update more than 10 months after the framework agreement between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour was reached last June.

“I would love to give you insight but I don’t have any. We at LIV are totally separate to that part of the negotiation,” Norman said.

He also denied reports LIV attempted to lure World No. 2 Rory McIlroy from the PGA Tour with an offer of more than $800 million.

“LIV never put an offer to him,” Norman said, concurring with McIlroy that the two sides weren’t in talks about a contract. “We didn’t need to make a comment about this. This is just typical white noise that gets out there in the industry. If Rory was willing to sit down and have a conversation with us, would we be happy to sit down with him? Onehundred percent, no different than any other player who would be interested in coming on and playing with us.”

–Field Level Media

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