Greg Norman reacts to Rory McIlroy's statements: It's a very powerful testament

"I’ve got to be honest with you – I’m very appreciative of what Rory said."

by Sead Dedovic
Greg Norman reacts to Rory McIlroy's statements: It's a very powerful testament
© Eric Espada / Getty Images Sport

Rory McIlroy's recent comments regarding LIV Golf have drawn mixed reactions. The Northern Irishman believes that he made a mistake criticizing LIV Golf, and that he was too judgmental.

Rory McIlroy talked about how he used to feel about the LIV Golf league in an interview on the Stick to Football podcast. He admitted that he was a bit too critical of the players who joined LIV Golf early on.

He realized that not everyone has the same perspective as him or Tiger Woods. McIlroy felt bad for being judgmental and understood that his views were shaped by his own experiences.

Rory mentioned that he used to see the world in a certain way, hoping his thoughts would influence others. But he learned that even if he shares his thoughts, it doesn't always change how others think.

McIlroy hasn't given up on his beliefs, but he's accepted that LIV Golf is now a part of golf, even if it's different from what he initially thought. 

It seems that over time he realized that he had no other option and accepted that LIV Golf is part of the golf scene, and that he will be there for many years ahead. Although it was a frustrating fact for him and PGA Tour officials, Rory changed his view. Some fear that Rory has announced his departure from PGA Tour, but some believe that this is just a sign of better days ahead in golf and a confirmation of the merger.

His statements caused a large number of reactions, and one of the first to react was Greg Norman. The CEO of LIV Golf has every right to be happy about McIlroy's comments. Norman is delighted primarily because LIV Gof was constant and persistent in achieving its goals. Greg seemed to feel that in time he would gain respect from everyone, and that individuals would understand what LIV Golf means in general for this sport.

“Happy New Year golf! That’s my reaction," Norman told the LIV Golf Fairway To Heaven podcast, as quoted by!

"I’ve got to be honest with you – I’m very appreciative of what Rory said. It’s been a painful couple of years. What we have done is be consistent. Our narrative has been consistent. Our delivering mechanism has been consistent.

The reason I say I appreciate Rory to fall 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." 

The PIF-PGA Tour deal is still not finalized. Although December 31 was originally the deadline for an agreement, the decision was made to wait for some time. Norman thinks it will be a great thing for the PGA Tour and LIV Golf if the deal is actually finalized. This will benefit the leaders of both Tours, as well as golfers.

"We wanted to sit down from day one with them to completely make them understand the value of the LIV footprint, business model and the impact it can make on the game of golf. I say ‘hey thank you Rory’. 

We all knew it was going to work within the golf ecosystem. We all want to be there, we are going to be there – he said that. To me, this is a significant turning point for everybody.”

Greg Norman: We are on the right side of history

 Norman believes strongly in what they were doing for golf. He thought it was the right thing to do and feels confident about it.

He saw golf as more important than any one player or group. Norman thought their actions were on the right path, and he preferred taking that path even if others seemed critical.

He mentioned that time could help heal differences, but only if their actions were genuinely right. Norman highlighted their achievements in 22 events as proof of their positive impact on golf. He also believed that in the long run, they could do even more for golf than what the PGA Tour had achieved over 53 years.

From day one of LIV Golf's creation, Norman had the same attitude. In moments when everyone criticized him and doubted LIV Golf, Norman believed that they have the strength to persevere and achieve their goals. LIV Golf appeared with the goal of revolutionizing the world of golf, and they thought that Norman was a great person to present their project.

On the first day he had no doubts: What we are doing is right! Norman expressed his respect for Rory considering the huge shift in thinking. Although he has been one of the biggest critics of LIV Golf since the creation of this Tour, Rory realized that he made a mistake in criticizing them.

Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy
Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy© Andrew Redington / Getty Images Sport

Norman emphasizes that such statements only give LIV Golf even more motivation to persevere in their intentions and achieve what they set out to do. Time will tell what will happen in the world of golf, but many hope that the PIF-PGA Tour deal will be completed, and that we will once again watch the best play against each other. Divide does not bring any benefits for either side at this moment.

"We are on the right side of history. Our players are on the right side of history, all of us within the LIV worldwide organisation are on the right side of history.

For Rory to do this, like I said I appreciate it, it's not easy for somebody to be so negative then all of a sudden turn around and fall on your sword and say hey we are on the right side of history, making those positive comments towards LIV from a innovation standpoint.

It's a very powerful testament to, going back to saying, what we have is right."

Greg Norman Rory Mcilroy