Greg Norman to lead £145m golf league that hopes to begin play in 2022

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Golf legend Greg Norman is planning to revolutionise the professional game in 2022 with a new world league. The two-time British Open champion has been named as the CEO of LIV Golf Enterprises, which is pledging £145m to create 10 new Asian Tour events to be held annually over the next decade.

Those events will form the first phase of creating a lucrative golf super league, which will undoubtedly try and attract the biggest stars from the PGA and European tours.

The company is being backed financially by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which helped fund the recent controversial takeover of Newcastle United. PIF are the majority shareholder in the new firm, and Norman has predicted that big things are to come.

“This is only the beginning,” Norman was reported as saying on BBC Sport.

“LIV Golf Investments has secured a major capital commitment that will be used to create new opportunities across worldwide professional golf.”

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This isn’t the first time ‘The Great White Shark’ has wanted to shake up professional golf, first mooting the idea of a world tour when he was playing in the 1990s.

However, the proposal was met with stern opposition from authorities, who introduced World Golf Championship events in a bid to stave off any interest in a breakaway.

These latest developments are likely to ruffle feathers again, but Norman, 66, insists the company will be acting transparently and cohesively with other tours.

“We will be a cooperative and respectful supporter of the game at every level, and today’s announcement alongside the Asian Tour is the first example of that,” he added.

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The company has yet to reveal any high-profile captures for the super league project, but it has been reported that Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose are among those who have been approached.

The proposed series of 10 events, which starts next year, will be played in the Middle East and Europe as well as Asia, which in all likelihood will disrupt the European Tour who hold events in all three regions.

“I have been a staunch supporter and believer in playing and developing golf in Asia for more than four decades,” Norman said.

“The Asian Tour is a sleeping giant and we share ambition to grow the series and unlock what we believe is significant untapped potential.

 

“We see our promotion of these new events as a vital first step in supporting emerging markets, creating a new platform, rich with playing opportunities that create valuable player pathways.”

The Australian was already considered a successful businessman through his Greg Norman Company, a venture he will not put to one side.

“What do I do with the Greg Norman Company? ” he said.

“It has 12 divisions. I can’t do both. I can’t put both feet in both office buildings and give 100 percent effort,” he said. “So I decided to step away from Greg Norman Company. I’m handing the reins over for the first time in my life to other individuals to run my company.”

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