Greg Norman on the conflict with Rory McIlroy: I don't bring emotion into business

“One thing I do is I take emotion out of everything."- Norman said.

by Sead Dedovic
Greg Norman on the conflict with Rory McIlroy: I don't bring emotion into business
© Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport

Since the inception of the LIV Golf, Rory McIlroy has been one of its most prominent critics on the PGA Tour. However, his stance changed a few months ago. After resigning from the PGA Tour Policy Board, the Northern Irishman emphasized that LIV Golfers intending to return to the PGA Tour should do so without consequences, showing support for their decisions. Moreover, Rory apologized for his previous criticism of LIV Golf. This has led many to speculate that Rory might leave the PGA Tour.

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, who is known for how he carries himself and stays calm, doesn't usually react impulsively or provoke responses. Even though he's a well-known figure in golf, Norman chose to join the LIV Golf project, understanding that people might react. Still, he has stuck to his opinions and doesn't plan to read or listen to different comments.

The conflict between McIlroy and Norman began a few years ago when McIlroy watched Norman's documentary, sent a supportive message, and received thanks from Greg. However, just a few weeks later, in an interview with The Washington Post, Norman emphasized that Rory was 'brainwashed by the PGA Tour.' This pivotal moment caused Rory to change his stance; "I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to make it my business now to be as much of a pain in his **** as possible,’” McIlroy said. “And that’s basically what I’ve done since.”

Although Rory is someone who no longer intends to criticize LIV Golf, it is still unknown whether the Northern Irishman has a different attitude towards Norman. LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman, responded to a reporter's question about how he would feel if McIlroy won this year's Masters and became the sixth Grand Slam winner. Norman immediately emphasized that he has no intention of bringing too many emotions into business. He is a person not prone to showing emotions, especially extreme ones. Norman aims to be calm, relaxed, and firmly believes in his views and ideas.

“One thing I do is I take emotion out of everything. I’m very good at that. I don’t bring emotion into business. I don’t bring emotion into anything. If you do, I think that shows the weakness of an individual."- he told Australian Golf Digest!

Greg Norman recalled moments from 2011 when he decided to console McIlroy in moments when he was close to winning the Masters. If he manages to win the Masters this year, Norman does not doubt that he will reach out to the Northern Irishman and congratulate him on his amazing success. This is enough to indicate that Norman does not hold a grudge against Rory for everything he has said recently. Some even consider this a sign that McIlroy could become part of LIV Golf.

“When Rory missed out on the (2011) Masters when he hit that wayward tee shot on 10, I sent him a message of support afterwards because I felt his pain, and he responded. And if Rory wins this year’s Masters, I’ll say congratulations on achieving the grand slam, right? That’s sport and that’s sportsmanship, and that’s the humility of the game. That’s me. That’s how I would do it.”

Greg Norman revealed his efforts to recruit Hideki Matsuyama to LIV Golf

Greg Norman shared that he has been trying to bring Hideki Matsuyama to LIV Golf. When Matsuyama won The Genesis Invitational in LA, Norman congratulated him, expressing pride in his achievement. This shows how Norman openly talks about his attempts to attract golfers to LIV Golf and appreciates their successes.

Hideki Matsuyama
Hideki Matsuyama© Harry How / Getty Images Sport

Greg Norman was aware that becoming the CEO of LIV Golf could bring various challenges and scrutiny. Despite it all, Norman mentally prepared for this challenge, knowing that he would be under media scrutiny. 

From day one, Norman emphasized his desire to enhance LIV Golf and make it the best golf tour. Regardless of who opposes him, Greg has no intention of giving up. 

The fact is that he has succeeded in attracting excellent golfers to his tour, but many still play on the PGA Tour, with indications from some that they might join LIV Golf soon. 

Norman is a crucial negotiator, and his methods of convincing golfers are still unknown. Given that he has managed to persuade some, it seems Norman knows his business.

LIV Golf is a tour that has had an interesting philosophy since its inception. They aimed to bring innovations to the world of golf, introduce something entirely new to the audience, and attract the attention of younger fans. It can be said that they have succeeded in that. Despite it all, many are against LIV Golf and its innovations.

Greg Norman Rory Mcilroy