Jason Day? Adam Scott? LIV Golf boss Greg Norman talks targets for 2023 season

LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman said that it is up to Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman to grow the Australian franchise on the Saudi-backed series. 

Matt Chivers's picture
Mon, 14 Nov 2022
Jason Day? Adam Scott? LIV Golf boss Greg Norman talks targets for 2023 season

LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman revealed that further big-name signings on the Saudi-backed series will largely be down to the players and their relationships.

Speaking after The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide was named as a host of one of LIV Golf's 14 events in 2023, Norman promised that more signings will be made and some players "are on the sidelines" waiting to enter the fray.

As the captain of Punch, Norman held Open champion Cameron Smith responsible for building his franchise along with fellow Aussie Marc Leishman. You could assume other captains such as Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson will look to recruit more players too.

A rumour of Xander Schauffele leaving the PGA Tour was quickly ruled out last week, while it seems 2022 Presidents Cup participant Mito Pereira has chosen LIV after attending a charity day with a number of players from the roster.

Adam Scott is one name Australian golf fans would immediately think of, as is Jason Day, and the former Masters champion has been one of the more understanding players on the PGA Tour when it comes to LIV Golf.

Scott, 42, admitted jeopardising major championship participation is one issue he'd have with making the switch, but he's open to an offer from Smith and Leishman who he joked has "plenty of cash."

"Cam has got to build out his franchise. Cam is responsible for his franchise along with Marc Leishman. They've got to look at what's best for them going forward," Norman said.
"We have a list of Australian players that we've got the opportunity of looking at, and quite honestly, again, it's something that Cam has got to come to us and talk to us about it
"Because as our business model is structured going into next year, the principal players or their franchises have the responsibility of building out their teams and everybody around it, so they've got to look out for their P&L.
"We just had a conversation about Adam Scott before. Basically, as we look into the future, it's the franchises. They're responsible to build out their franchises right now. So each and every one look at different players from a different perspective," Norman added.
"I will say this: We will end up signing more players for sure. There's a lot of interest because of the success of what happened this year.
"There have been a few players sitting on the sidelines, and now that they've seen the success and seen what the play of DJ (Dustin Johnson) and the success of the 4 Aces, it's a very, very compelling opportunity for players who have been observers to sit back."

Norman, 67, discussed a number of subjects after LIV's announcement for heading to Australia including major championships, Official World Golf Rankings, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy and of course, the links to Saudi Arabia.

As per usual, the two-time major champion danced around the topic of sportswashing. He complimented trade between the South Australian government and Saudi Arabia through agriculture.

He also praised Aramco's investment in golf and cricket, referring to the T20 World Cup final from Sunday morning. Aramco is a state-owned public petrol and gas company whose chairman is Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Public Investment Fund.

Norman will do well to ever escape the intense scrutiny that surrounds Saudi Arabia's human rights record, perhaps even more so now he's taking his controversial project to his home nation.

"We are here for the game of golf. We are here for the betterment of the game of golf. We're the force for good in the game of golf.
"These questions will continually come up. But then again, the questions should come up against the PGA Tour - why do they have 27 title sponsors that do work with Saudi Arabia; why this, why that?
"I get back to my room and I've turned on T20, which I don't get to see in the United States, and I see England is playing Pakistan, and I'm looking at the advertising around there and there's Aramco.
"I thought, wow, this is pretty cool; Aramco is involved with cricket. Then I did a little Google search and they're absolutely investing in that sport.
"It's just interesting why golf is getting this focused attention when there are other investments going on in other sports across the globe that are probably more significant than what we're doing just in golf."