Saudi-backed league set to launch: Norman

Golf great says they will go ahead with breakaway project even if it starts on a small scale


REUTERS March 16, 2022

LONDON:

Greg Norman, the frontman for the proposed Super Golf League (SGL), says the Saudi-backed competition is launching and will announce its first events later on Wednesday.

In a letter to players published by sports website SI.com, the Australian said the league would go ahead even if it starts on a small scale.

“You should know that we are launching, and we will continue to drive this vision forward," said the former world number one.

"We will not stop. We believe in our mission and will announce information about our first events (Wednesday)."

The proposed league has taken a massive hit in recent weeks as a number of the game's best players have pledged their allegiance to the PGA Tour, including Irish four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who said it was "dead in the water".

Norman, a World Golf Hall of Fame member who counts two British Open titles among his 20 PGA Tour wins, is spearheading the SGL as CEO of LIV Golf Investments, which is backed by the Saudi Investment Fund.

"We consider ourselves a start-up," he said in the letter. "We may start with a modest number of players, but we won’t stay that way for long.

"I fully understand some players may choose not to play with us right away. But after we get going, I believe many of those who aren’t with us now will be with us later.

"I want to thank you for your patience, but know, it will be worth your while."

No golfers have publicly admitted to signing up for the SGL despite its promises of huge paydays, though some have expressed interest, including Australian former world number one Adam Scott.

The SGL's image has been tarnished by comments American six-time major champion Phil Mickelson made about Saudi Arabia's human rights record and using the league to gain leverage over the PGA Tour.

Mickelson later apologised after his comments drew widespread criticism and said he would take time away from golf to "self-reflect".

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