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LIV Golf: Golf legend Greg Norman pressed behind closed doors in ‘lively’ GOP discussion about Saudi-backed LIV tour


Greg Norman, the top of the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour, confronted some conservative criticism on Tuesday after he met with a gaggle of Home Republicans behind closed doorways on Capitol Hill.

Norman, on a visit to Washington as a part of a public-relations push to promote lawmakers about the advantages of the PGA tour’s new rival, was additionally questioned through the Republican Examine Committee assembly about his league’s Saudi financing.

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

Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, advised that he didn’t mince phrases with Norman, who informed the Republican that the purpose of his tour is “competitors” – an assertion that Roy thought was “nonsense,” although he stated he’d be glad to sit down down and speak with Norman about it additional.

“Don’t promote us, ‘That is nearly competitors’ once they received’t reply a couple of billion {dollars} to purchase off PGA gamers leading to a billion {dollars} of PR for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Roy informed CNN, saying they may very well be in violation of the International Brokers Registration Act.

LIV Golf has spent eye-popping sums to poach prime PGA tour gamers, reportedly providing 9 figures for people simply to signal with the brand new league and massive purses for the winners of its tournaments. In early August, Norman confirmed on Fox Information that golf legend Tiger Woods turned down a suggestion value roughly $700-$800 million to affix LIV Golf.

Rep. Jim Banks, the chairman of the Republican Examine Committee, informed CNN that it was “vigorous dialogue” and that total Norman was “properly obtained by our members.”

The Indiana Republican famous that Norman requested to satisfy together with his group, which has common conferences with exterior company.

“Some members addressed the Saudi-backed funding. That got here up within the dialogue, and Mr. Norman addressed these points,” Banks stated. “He defined how the funding fund is ready up and different investments that they’ve made in america. He promised to sit down down with members individually.”

Banks stated “there was no ask” by Norman for Congress to behave on the league’s behalf and that the aim of the assembly was extra “public relations” than the rest.

Banks added: “If Tiger Woods needs to come back in and speak in regards to the PGA and his points with LIV Golf, we’d like to have him come too.”

LIV Golf gamers haven’t been granted permission to play on this week’s Presidents Cup, a biennial competitors pitting an Worldwide Staff and a US Staff towards one another, which tees off on Thursday.

For Worldwide captain Trevor Immelman, that proved a range headache with gamers like Open champion Cameron Smith, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen barred from taking part in.

“I’d say vastly disruptive might be an understatement,” Immelman informed CNN Sport’s Don Riddell. “It positive has been an fascinating course of.”

Players practice on the driving range ahead of the LIV Golf event in St. Albans, England, in June.

The US Staff has been uncovered to the identical downside with Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau all unavailable having switched to the LIV Golf sequence.

However opposing captain Davis Love III arguably has extra depth at his disposal than Immelman, who lamented the absence of some “unimaginable gamers” from the staff.

The Worldwide Staff has an unfavorable file within the Presidents Cup having received simply as soon as in 13 editions of the competitors.

“During the last yr or so, as these fractures (between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour) had been beginning to happen, each single participant on our squad knew precisely what the principles had been and knew what choices they wanted to make to be able to have the chance to play within the Presidents Cup,” he added.

Requested if he would miss the likes of Smith, Niemann and Oosthuizen, Immelman stated: “These guys are unimaginable gamers. They’re gamers which have performed Presidents Cups. They’ve the expertise of being in that cauldron, understanding what it takes. However, you understand, like I stated, they knew the selections that they wanted to make to be able to be eligible for the Presidents Cup.

“All of that data was a part of their decision-making course of. So the communication was very open. All people knew precisely the place they stood and so they made the selections that they thought had been greatest for them, and I respect their choices.”

This yr’s Presidents Cup is being held at Quail Hole in Charlotte, North Carolina, and concludes on Sunday.

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