Greg Norman says he’s set to announce ‘brand names’ for LIV Golf Invitational series ‘despite all the white noise’ as he accuses reporter who exposed Phil Mickelson of working with PGA Tour .
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According to a report by James Corrigan of the TelegraphNorman is set to name a few participants ahead of the first event this summer.
The eight-event series kicks off at the Centurion Club in London in June, just a week before the US Open.
Norman told the newspaper: “We respected the Masters and let it happen, but now our journey is finally happening – for the players, not for me.
He added: “[It is] their rightful place to have what they want.
“That’s why they’re still very, very, very interested. We have players signed, unlike the white noise you hear there.”
Players will compete for $255 million throughout the series. The first seven events of the regular season carry prize money of $25 million.
This includes $20 million in individual prizes and $5 million for the top three teams.
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Kevin Na launches at the Masters in a sweater emblazoned with the Golf Saudi logo
Norman, who did not give the names of the ‘signed’ people, further told the newspaper: “The level of interest we had, well, I had had a player who won a few major championships sitting in my office 48 hours ago.”
If it is to be believed, it could be talking about Bubba Watson.
Watson spoke over the weekend about his split with Ted Scott, who was on Scottie Scheffler’s bag as he won the Masters.
The southpaw explained that when they parted ways he wasn’t sure how long he had left in the game due to injuries.
Watson also featured in the Saudi international and was one of many players to defend their decision to participate despite the kingdom’s human rights abuses.
He has, of course, won “a few major championships”. These being The Masters in 2012 and 2014.
Along with Watson, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Kevin Na (who was spotted wearing clothing with Golf Saudi logos) were reportedly targeted.
Players who participate could face bans from the PGA Tour, but that would likely lead to a battle in court over the legality of such action.
The new league received a major blow when Phil Mickelson’s shocking comments were revealed by biographer Alan Shipnuck.
Mickelson admitted to Shipnuck that he was happy to ignore human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia because it was “a unique opportunity to reshape the PGA Tour”.
This led to a dramatic fall from grace for Lefty as sponsors cut off or dropped their relationship with him. He also missed his first master’s degree in 28 years and was described by DeChambeau as having “gone dark” by not answering phone calls.
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This prompted Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and several other pros to release statements about their futures.
Norman has previously said he will keep the door open for Mickelson to return.
Of his comments, he told the newspaper: “It was a kick in the teeth, there’s no doubt about it.
“It was a punch – we were so close. That Tuesday we had our field force ready to go and the PGA Tour heard about it and threw a giant redwood across our pavement.
“And they did, there’s no doubt about it. They created a disturbance by spreading this information, all these comments about Phil.”
Norman told the newspaper he thought the PGA Tour and Shipnuck worked together, describing it as “not a coincidence”.
“It was calculated,” he said. “It’s not like my 45 years in the game left me out. I have really good information about it, you know, it was calculated in the way it came out.”
The PGA Tour declined to comment and Shipnuck dismissed that claim, according to the newspaper.