Greg Norman Super Golf League: Aussie pours $3b down the toilet

Greg Norman has been accused of an act of extreme hypocrisy as a leaked letter exposed his $3 billion war chest for what it is.

Greg Norman has been accused of an act of extreme hypocrisy as his $3 billion operation crumbles around him.

The Aussie golfing legend is spearheading the rebel Super Golf League (SGL) — a project designed to bring the PGA Tour to its knees with claims of fatter prizemoney and signing bonuses for the world’s best golfers.

For all the pomp and warmongering, the rebel operation is fizzling out into nothing.

Norman was appointed CEO of the tour which is being bankrolled by the PIF — the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, which was also involved in the takeover of English Premier League club Newcastle United.

The tour announced last year the PIF had committed more than $AUD260 million for Norman to play with.

However, reports this month have revealed the Super Golf League — and the LIV Golf Investments firm running it — has a war chest of more than $2.9 billion to steal the world’s best players and establish its own tour as a legitimate body in golf.

LIV has secured a foothold in golf through a partnership with the Asian Tour, which will see a new 10-event International Series played around the world.

The moment of truth arrives on March 6 when the first event of the Series begins in Thailand.

It stands to be a disaster. The world’s top golfers have largely turned their backs.

Former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy said this week the SGL is “dead in the water”.

The US PGA Tour has repeatedly responded to the SGL by saying any golfers participating in the rival circuit would face life bans from PGA events.

According to the Golf Channel, PGA Tour player representatives were told again this week in a meeting with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan that any player interested in the SGL was not welcome.

Norman has seized upon the PGA Tour’s heavy hand, and sent out a leaked letter to players this week, encouraging them to abandon the pro circuit without fear of further disciplinary action from the Tour.

“None of us should stand for these egregious acts of bullying by the PGA Tour,” Norman wrote, according to golfchannel.com.

“We encourage you to request the PGA Tour provide you with these threats in writing and written opinions of its outside counsel that these bans are legal and enforceable.

“It would not surprise us if the Tour is unwilling to do so.”

He said the SGL hopes to co-exist with the PGA Tour.

According to reports, all the money in the world couldn’t convince golf’s top stars to side with Norman.

Bryson DeChambeau is reported to have knocked back on offer worth more than $180 million.

Phil Mickelson also walked away from an offer reported to have been worth more than $100 million.

The six-time major winner has endured a nightmare month where he was forced to apologise for labeling the SGL’s Saudi backers “scary” and saying his desire for leverage over the PGA in a bid for more money allowed him to excuse concerns over human rights issues .

Norman has also been forced to respond to claims he is willingly participating in Saudi Arabia’s “sportswashing” public relations drive.

“No, I have not been used for sportswashing because I’ve been to Saudi Arabia, and I’ve seen the changes that have taken place,” Norman told the Financial Times in December.

“Every country has done horrendous things in the past … just look at America with racism, for example, it’s just so embedded here, it’s just ugly.”

The New York Post recently published an article by Gavin Newsham accusing Norman of “sportswashing,” pointing to Saudi Arabia’s gender gap — ranking 147th out of 153 nations in the world according to the World Economic Forum — and the state-ordered murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Its why Norman’s letter this week has been called out by golf commentators as being an act of hypocrisy.

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