LIV Golf: Golf legend Greg Norman pressed behind closed doors in a ‘lively’ Republican debate over the Saudi-backed LIV Tour

Norman, who was on a visit to Washington as a part of a PR effort to promote lawmakers about the advantages of the PGA Tour’s new contender, was additionally questioned throughout a Republican Research Committee assembly on Saudi funding for his league.

LIV Golf is backed by the Saudi Public Funding Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund headed by Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – and has pledged to award $250 million in complete prize cash.

Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, famous he did not utter phrases with Norman, who instructed the Republican the purpose of his tour was “competitors” — an assertion that Roy thought was “nonsense,” although he stated I might be pleased to take a seat down and speak with Norman Extra about this matter.

“Do not promote us, ‘it is simply concerning the competitors’ once they do not reply the $1 billion to purchase PGA gamers leading to $1 billion in PR for Saudi Arabia,” Roy instructed CNN. It could violate the International Brokers Registration Act.

LIV Golf has spent staggering sums looking the very best PGA Tour gamers, reportedly providing simply 9 numbers for people to signal with the brand new league and large baggage for its match winners. In early August, Norman confirmed to Fox Information that golf legend Tiger Woods had turned down a suggestion of roughly $700 to $800 million to hitch LIV Golf.

Consultant Jim Banks, chair of the Republican Research Committee, instructed CNN that it was a “full of life dialogue” and that Norman normally was “effectively obtained by our members.”

The Indiana Republican famous that Norman requested to satisfy along with his group, which holds common conferences with outdoors company.

“Some members addressed Saudi-backed financing. This got here up within the dialogue, and Mr. Norman addressed these points,” the banks stated. He defined how the funding fund was created and the opposite investments they made in the USA. He promised to take a seat down with the members individually.

Banks stated there was “no request” from Norman for Congress to behave on behalf of the League and that the aim of the assembly was “public relations” greater than anything.

Banks added: “If Tiger Woods needed to return and discuss PGA and his points with LIV Golf, we would love for him to return too.”

‘Very harmful’

LIV Golf gamers weren’t given permission to play on this week’s Presidents Cup, a biennial competitors between a world staff and an American staff towards one another, which kicks off Thursday.

For worldwide captain Trevor Immelman, that proved to be a variety headache with gamers comparable to Open champion Cameron Smith, Chilean Joaquin Neiman and South African participant Louis Oosthuizen being banned.

“I’d say the key disruption might be an understatement,” Immelman instructed CNN Sport’s Don Riddle. “It was undoubtedly an attention-grabbing course of.”

Players practice on the driving range ahead of the LIV Golf event in St Albans, England, in June.
The US staff had the identical drawback with Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau all unavailable after switching to the LIV Golf Sequence.

However opponent captain Davis Love III arguably has extra depth at his disposal than Immelmann, who lamented the absence of some “nice gamers” from the squad.

The worldwide staff has an unfavorable report within the Presidents Cup having gained solely as soon as in 13 editions of the competitors.

“Over the previous yr or so, as these fractures began occurring (between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour), each participant on our staff knew precisely the principles and knew the selections they needed to make with the intention to have an opportunity to play within the President’s Cup.”

Requested if he would miss the likes of Smith, Neiman and Ostwezen, Immelmann stated: “These guys are nice gamers. They’re gamers who’ve performed Cup Chiefs. They’ve expertise being in that cauldron, and so they perceive what it takes. However like I stated, like I stated, they knew the selections. that they need to take with the intention to qualify for the Presidents Cup.

“All of this data was a part of the decision-making course of. So the communication was very open. Everybody knew precisely the place they stood and made the selections they thought have been finest for them, and I respect their choices.”

This yr’s Presidents Cup takes place at Quail Hole in Charlotte, North Carolina, and concludes on Sunday.

CNN’s Don Riddle and Jack Pantock contributed to this report.