Greg Norman: LIV chief says Rory McIlroy’s new stance is a ‘turning point’ for golf

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a tee shot
Image caption,McIlroy was one of the strongest opponents when LIV was first announced in 2022

LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman says Rory McIlroy’s softened stance on the Saudi-funded tour is a “significant turning point” for the sport.

The world number two has been a staunch opponent of LIV, which has recruited high-profile players and fractured golf.

However, McIlroy said on Wednesday that he would be open to play in a tournament backed by LIV Golf.

Norman said he appreciated McIlroy “falling on his sword”.

Speaking on LIV’s ‘Fairway to Heaven’ podcast on Thursday, Norman said: “The reason I say I appreciate Rory falling on his sword, to some degree, is the fact that he did judge us by not knowing the facts.

“He judged us on other people’s thoughts and opinions.

“So, I say, ‘hey, thank you Rory’. We all knew it was going to work within the golf ecosystem. We all wanted to be there, we are going to be there – he said that. To me, this is a hugely significant turning point for everybody.”

Merger talks between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which funds LIV, will continue in 2024 in an attempt to end a split in the game.

Four-time major-winner McIlroy previously said he would retire “if LIV Golf was the last place to play golf on earth”.

Court documents revealed last year that McIlroy and American Tiger Woods could have been offered ownership of LIV team franchises as part of the proposed peace deal between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and PIF.

On Wednesday, the Northern Irishman told the Stick to Football Podcast, external he had “accepted” LIV is “part of our sport now”.

Less than a month after his Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm joined the Saudi-backed series, McIlroy said he regrets being “too judgemental” of players who joined LIV when the circuit was first introduced in 2022.

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