The Saudi Arabian-backed “Super Golf League” — or “LIV” as Greg Norman calls it — has been a sore spot for the PGA Tour.
Phil Mickelson caused an uproar in February by calling the organizers of the league “scary motherf—–s” to get involved with while still acknowledging the possibility of working with them, which led to an exodus of sponsors and him withdrawing from the 2022 Masters. Although Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said Mickelson was invited, Norman was offered no such courtesy. In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Norman said he wasn’t offered the customary Masters invitation all previous Major winners receive.
“I normally get an invitation every January when they go out as a past major-winner,” he said. “Not this time. Although they did send me a grounds pass on the night before the first round.” Norman, the recently-appointed chief executive of LIV investments, did not attend. “Look, I’ll be honest with you, yes, the criticisms have stung a little bit,” he said. “But I’m a big believer that you can’t run through a brick wall without getting bloody. I’m willing to run through this wall because I’m a big believer in growing the game of golf on a global basis.”
This has long been the line supporters of the Saudi Golf League have used — the idea of “growing the game globally.” The Tour, however, isn’t standing for breakout leagues. It has stated it will ban any player who decides to join the Super Golf League.