Rory McIlroy has called on LIV chief Greg Norman to step in to end golf’s civil war – insisting the sport would benefit from an ‘adult in the room’ who could ‘mend fences’ between the PGA and Saudi-backed tour
- Rory McIlroy has called on Greg Norman to step down as CEO of the LIV tour
- McIlroy believes golf’s civil war will continue until Norman steps down as leader
- The Saudi-backed breakaway LIV tour is still causing friction on the PGA tour
- The World No 1 insists that the sport will benefit from having an ‘adult in the room’
Rory McIlroy says there will be no end to golf’s civil war until Greg Norman steps down from his post on the LIV circuit and allows an ‘adult into the room’.
Although McIlroy believes the time has come for dialogue between the new and old factions of his sport, in his latest passionate contribution to the saga he admits he cannot foresee a workable co-existence until t the Australian remains at the LIV helm.
His comments come as rumors grow that Norman, the CEO of the Saudi-backed breakaway tour, is about to be reinstated, with the circuit expanding rapidly in its first season through his particular brand of disruption. .
Rory McIlroy has called on Greg Norman to step down from his post as CEO of the Saudi-backed LIV tour
LIV’s success in gate-crashing the golfing landscape should not be underestimated, which was necessary to an extent in Norman’s fire-starter manner.
But as they seek legitimacy through the courts, with an important goal being to award world ranking points, it seems necessary to have some level of peace between LIV and their rivals, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour.
Speaking ahead of the latter’s Tour Championship in Dubai, McIlroy said: ‘I think a few things need to happen.
‘So obviously there are two lawsuits going on at the moment – there’s the PGA TOUR versus LIV and there’s this one coming up on the DP World Tour in February. Nothing will happen if those two things continue.
Norman, 67, led the controversial breakaway series against the PGA tour
‘And then I think from whatever happens with those two things, there are some things that I want to see on the LIV side that need to happen. I think Greg needs to go. I think he just needs to exit stage left.
‘He’s made his mark but I think now is the time to say, “Look, you’ve got this thing but nobody’s going to talk unless there’s an adult in the room who can try to mend fences” .
‘If those two things happen, things can happen. But for now, it’s a stalemate because there is no other way. I hope something happens, who knows.
‘One is a very different product to the other, and they’re only going to continue if something happens and whether that’s in the hands of a court or a judge or whatever else happens down the road, nobody knows. Right now it seems like a bit of a stalemate.’
Norman and PGA Tour leader Jay Monahan (pictured) have feuded since LIV’s inception
Neither Norman nor his opposite number on the PGA Tour, Jay Monahan, have given up much ground in the battle since LIV launched earlier this year. Norman even took the bold step this week of suggesting that McIlroy and Tiger Woods should ‘thank’ LIV for the shake-up which has resulted in high prize money on the PGA Tour.
Confused, McIlroy responded on Tuesday: ‘Like anything Greg said, and that comment, it depends on what you’re looking for in golf. Am I thankful that this has given more opportunities for the top players to earn more? Yes.
‘But in the end, would I be happier at the end of my career? Nope. There are many things that people play golf with and do their jobs, and it’s not just about the money. It’s about other things. It’s about fulfillment. It’s about trying to get the best out of yourself. It’s about the fun of going in and trying to play to your potential.
‘You know, those are the things that definitely made me happy about playing golf. So in some people, they may play for other reasons. But for me, I’m happier when I’m doing my best and it doesn’t matter how much I earn. Sports achievements are the things that motivate me.’
McIlroy wants Norman out because he feels golf would benefit from an ‘adult in the room’
He added: ‘I’m so grateful for everyone in golf, and I’ve said it a million times: Tiger is the reason we play as hard as we play. The tiger is the reason why the stature of our game is where it is.
‘The Tiger generation and the generation after Tiger have all benefited from him and his accomplishments and what he’s done for the game of golf. I don’t think Tiger should thank anyone for anything. I think everyone else in the game should be thankful.’
McIlroy is pushing this week to become only the second player to win the European Tour Championship and the PGA Tour in the same season. He also held a slim lead over New Zealand’s Ryan Fox in the order of merit entering the decider.