By Matt Smith
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman has spoken of his future plans and how the Invitational Series will transform into a proper golf league format from 2023 onwards.
Norman, 67, also said his phone has been continually ringing as agents of the world’s top 40 players show interest in joining LIV Golf.
“The rumours are true [that LIV Golf will transition into a proper league in 2023] — we’ve closed up shop, as far as our players are concerned,” Norman told Australian Golf Digest.
“We’re in the process of kicking the league off next year and we’re a full year ahead of schedule. There will be more player announcements before then, but we’re set on the maximum amount of players. It’s interesting, we’re still getting calls from agents of top-40 players in the world wanting to join LIV but it’s too late now. I mean, we’d love to have them all but we can’t get them in. What it tells me, though, is what we’re doing is very appealing to the world’s best players.”
Henrik Stenson was stripped of his Ryder Cup Team Europe captaincy to join LIV Golf this week along with Jason Kokrak and Charles Howell III — but, for now, the majority of marquee signings will be held back until next year, with Open champ and Norman’s fellow Australian Cameron Smith top of the rumour-mill heap.
“There will be more player announcements before then, but we’re set on the maximum amount of players,” Norman said. “It’s interesting, we’re still getting calls from agents of top-40 players in the world wanting to join LIV but it’s too late now.
“What it tells me though, is what we’re doing is very appealing to the world’s best players.”
One problem for LIV Golf is that their 48-man, three-round tournaments do not offer Official Golf World Ranking points — the gateway to the four major tournaments.
“The next, most important step outside of the players is getting OWGR points for our tournaments,” Norman said.
“We have worked hard to understand and meet the requirements to apply for OWGR points and have submitted our application. I am highly confident with our strength of field — which grows each week with player signings — and our individual format, that it puts us in a very good place to secure official OWGR points.
“When we officially have OWGR points for all our individual events, everything else looks after itself, which includes the majors.”
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