LIV Golf: Golf legend Greg Norman pressed behind closed doors in a ‘lively’ Republican debate over the Saudi-backed LIV Tour



CNN

Greg Norman, head of the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour, confronted some conservative criticism on Tuesday after he met a bunch of Republican Home members behind closed doorways on Capitol Hill.

Norman, who was on a visit to Washington as a part of a PR effort to promote lawmakers about the advantages of the PGA Tour’s new contender, was additionally questioned throughout a Republican Examine Committee assembly on Saudi funding for his league.

LIV Golf is backed by the Saudi Public Funding Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund headed by Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – and has pledged to award $250 million in whole prize cash.

Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, famous he did not utter phrases with Norman, who advised the Republican the purpose of his tour was “competitors” — an assertion that Roy thought was “nonsense,” although he mentioned “I might be blissful to sit down down and speak to Norman.” Extra about it.

“Do not promote us,” Roy advised CNN, “it is simply in regards to the competitors” after they do not reply about $1 billion to purchase PGA gamers leading to $1 billion in PR for Saudi Arabia. It might violate the International Brokers Registration Act.

LIV Golf has spent staggering sums looking one of the best PGA Tour gamers, reportedly providing simply 9 numbers for people to signal with the brand new league and big baggage for its match winners. In early August, Norman confirmed to Fox Information that golf legend Tiger Woods had turned down a suggestion of roughly $700 to $800 million to affix LIV Golf.

Consultant Jim Banks, chair of the Republican Examine Committee, advised CNN that it was a “vigorous dialogue” and that Norman on the whole “was properly acquired by our members.”

The Indiana Republican famous that Norman requested to satisfy along with his group, which holds common conferences with outdoors company.

Some members talked about Saudi-backed funding. This got here up within the dialogue, and Mr. Norman addressed these points,” Banks mentioned. He defined how the funding fund was arrange and the opposite investments they’d made in the USA. He promised to sit down down with the members individually.

Banks mentioned there was “no request” by Norman for Congress to behave on behalf of the League and that the aim of the assembly was “public relations” greater than anything.

Banks added: “If Tiger Woods needed to return and speak about PGA and his points with LIV Golf, we would love for him to return too.”

LIV Golf gamers weren’t given permission to play on this week’s Presidents Cup, a biennial competitors between a world workforce and an American workforce in opposition to one another, which kicks off Thursday.

For worldwide captain Trevor Immelman, that proved to be a variety headache with gamers reminiscent of Open champion Cameron Smith, Chilean Joaquin Neiman and South African participant Louis Oosthuizen being banned.

“I might say the huge disruption might be an understatement,” Immelman advised CNN Sport’s Don Riddell. “It was positively an attention-grabbing course of.”

Players practice on the driving range ahead of the LIV Golf event in St Albans, England, in June.

The US workforce had the identical downside with Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau all unavailable after switching to the LIV Golf Collection.

However opponent captain Davis Love III arguably has extra depth at his disposal than Immelmann, who lamented the absence of some “nice gamers” from the squad.

The worldwide workforce has an unfavorable document within the Presidents Cup having received solely as soon as in 13 editions of the competitors.

“Over the previous yr or so, as these fractures began to happen (between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour), each participant on our workforce knew precisely the principles and knew the choices they needed to make so as to have an opportunity to play within the President’s Cup.”

Requested if he would miss the likes of Smith, Neiman and Ostwezen, Immelmann mentioned: “These guys are nice gamers. They’re gamers who’ve performed Cup Chiefs. They’ve expertise being in that cauldron, and so they perceive what it takes. However like I mentioned, like I mentioned, they knew The choices they need to make so as to qualify for the Presidents Cup.

All of this info was a part of their decision-making course of. So the connection was very open. Everybody is aware of precisely the place they stand and made the choices they thought had been greatest for them, and I respect their choices.”

This yr’s Presidents Cup takes place at Quail Hole in Charlotte, North Carolina, and concludes on Sunday.