Rory McIlroy: “I think he [Norman] just needs to exit stage left. He’s made his mark but I think now is the right time to sort of say, look, you’ve got this thing off the ground but no one is going to talk unless there’s an adult in the room that can actually try to mend fences”
Last Updated: 15/11/22 10:33am
Rory McIlroy has called on Greg Norman to leave his role at LIV Golf to get an “adult in the room” to help end the “stalemate” in the dispute between golf’s tours.
The PGA Tour is currently involved in an antitrust case against LIV Golf and a hearing takes place in February involving the Saudi-backed circuit and the DP World Tour, while McIlroy believes it may take Norman exiting the breakaway circuit to get any resolution within the sport.
“Nothing will happen if those two things [lawsuits] are still going on,” McIlroy said ahead of the DP World Tour Championship. “You’re limited in what you can do. Then I think from whatever happens with those two things, there’s a few things that I would like to see on the LIV side that needs to happen.
“I think Greg needs to go. I think he just needs to exit stage left. He’s made his mark but I think now is the right time to sort of say, look, you’ve got this thing off the ground but no one is going to talk unless there’s an adult in the room that can actually try to mend fences.
“If those two things happen, then things can happen. But right now, it’s a stalemate because there can’t be any other way. Hopefully something can happen, who knows.
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“Whether that’s in the hand of a court or a judge or something else happens along the way, no one really knows. But right now it seems like it’s a bit of a stalemate.”
‘Tiger shouldn’t be thankful to anyone’
Norman said in an interview earlier that “every PGA Tour player should be thanking LIV” because of the increases in prize money and the Player Impact Program [PIP], signalling out McIlroy and Tiger Woods, although McIlroy rebuffed suggestions that the likes of he and Woods should be grateful of the rival tour.
McIlroy explained: “Am I thankful that it’s provided more opportunities for the top players to earn more? Yes. But ultimately will that make me happier at the end of my career? No.
“I’m very thankful for everyone in golf, and I’ve said this a million times: Tiger is the reason that we are playing for as much as we are playing for.
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“Tiger is the reason that the stature of our game is where it is. The generation of Tiger and the generation coming after Tiger have all benefited from him and his achievements and what he’s done for the game of golf.
“I don’t think Tiger should be thankful to anyone for anything. I think everyone else in the game should be thankful.”
What next for LIV Golf?
LIV Golf announced on Monday that Australia will host an event next April as part of an expanded 2023 schedule, with McIlroy expecting more conversation about the golf next year as opposed to player moves and disputes.
Phil Mickelson claims it is ‘remarkable’ how much LIV Golf has improved in the past six months and suggests it is now a force in the game that is not going away
“I don’t think we will have another year like this one because all of the noise has been about who is jumping ship, who is going where, who is staying, who is going,” McIlroy added.
“Very little of the storyline has actually been about the golf. So I think next year, if we can get the storylines to being about the golf and being about the competition that’s happening and what’s happening on the course, that’s a good thing.”
Watch the DP World Tour Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday with Featured Groups from 5am on Sky Sports Golf, ahead of full coverage from 6am.