LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman said he appreciated Rory McIlroy “falling on his sword” after the Northern Irishman softened his stance on the Saudi-backed circuit, and suggested it could be a turning point for the sport.
McIlroy has been one of the most vocal critics of LIV since the breakaway tour launched in 2022 and signed up a host of big names, causing a rift that threatened to tear golf apart.
The four-time major champion previously accused some of those who jumped ship as being duplicitous and that he would rather retire than join LIV.
However, just weeks after his Ryder Cup team mate Jon Rahm stunned the golf world by swapping the PGA Tour for LIV, McIlroy said on the Stick to Football podcast that he regretted being too quick to judge those who had made the switch.
“The reason I say I appreciate Rory falling on his sword, to some degree, is the fact that he did judge us by not knowing the facts,” Norman said on LIV’s Fairway to Heaven podcast on Thursday.
“He judged us on other people’s thoughts and opinions.
“So, I say, ‘hey, thank you Rory’. We all knew it was going to work within the golf ecosystem. We all wanted to be there, we are going to be there – he said that. To me, this is a hugely significant turning point for everybody … “
In June last year, the PGA Tour, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and DP World Tour announced a framework agreement to house their commercial operations in a new for-profit entity.
While they were unable to finalise a definitive partnership agreement by the December 31st deadline, the PGA Tour wants to extend negotiations into 2024, according to a memo seen by Reuters.