Golf legend Greg Norman pressed behind closed doorways in ‘full of life’ GOP dialogue about Saudi-backed LIV tour | CNN


Greg Norman, the pinnacle of the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour, confronted some conservative criticism on Tuesday after he met with a bunch of Home Republicans behind closed doorways on Capitol Hill.

Norman, on a visit to Washington as a part of a public-relations push to promote lawmakers about the advantages of the PGA tour’s new rival, was additionally questioned throughout the Republican Research Committee assembly about his league’s Saudi financing.

LIV Golf is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – and has pledged to award $250 million in whole prize cash.

Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, instructed that he didn’t mince phrases with Norman, who advised the Republican that the purpose of his tour is “competitors” – an assertion that Roy thought was “nonsense,” although he mentioned he’d be completely satisfied to take a seat down and discuss with Norman about it additional.

“Don’t promote us, ‘That is nearly competitors’ after they received’t reply a couple of billion {dollars} to purchase off PGA gamers leading to a billion {dollars} of PR for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Roy advised CNN, saying they may very well be in violation of the Overseas Brokers Registration Act.

LIV Golf has spent eye-popping sums to poach high PGA tour gamers, reportedly providing 9 figures for people simply to signal with the brand new league and massive purses for the winners of its tournaments. In early August, Norman confirmed on Fox Information that golf legend Tiger Woods turned down a suggestion value roughly $700-$800 million to affix LIV Golf.

Rep. Jim Banks, the chairman of the Republican Research Committee, advised CNN that it was “full of life dialogue” and that general Norman was “effectively obtained by our members.”

The Indiana Republican famous that Norman requested to satisfy together with his group, which has common conferences with exterior friends.

“Some members addressed the Saudi-backed funding. That got here up within the dialogue, and Mr. Norman addressed these points,” Banks mentioned. “He defined how the funding fund is about up and different investments that they’ve made in the USA. He promised to take a seat down with members individually.”

Banks mentioned “there was no ask” by Norman for Congress to behave on the league’s behalf and that the aim of the assembly was extra “public relations” than anything.

Banks added: “If Tiger Woods needs to come back in and discuss concerning the PGA and his points with LIV Golf, we’d like to have him come too.”

LIV Golf gamers haven’t been granted permission to play on this week’s Presidents Cup, a biennial competitors pitting an Worldwide Workforce and a US Workforce towards one another, which tees off on Thursday.

For Worldwide captain Trevor Immelman, that proved a range headache with gamers like Open champion Cameron Smith, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen barred from taking part in.

“I’d say massively disruptive might be an understatement,” Immelman advised CNN Sport’s Don Riddell. “It positive has been an attention-grabbing course of.”

The US Workforce has been uncovered to the identical downside with Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau all unavailable having switched to the LIV Golf collection.

However opposing captain Davis Love III arguably has extra depth at his disposal than Immelman, who lamented the absence of some “unimaginable gamers” from the group.

The Worldwide Workforce has an unfavorable document within the Presidents Cup having received simply as soon as in 13 editions of the competitors.

“During the last yr or so, as these fractures (between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour) had been beginning to happen, each single participant on our squad knew precisely what the foundations had been and knew what selections they wanted to make with a view to have the chance to play within the Presidents Cup,” he added.

Requested if he would miss the likes of Smith, Niemann and Oosthuizen, Immelman mentioned: “These guys are unimaginable gamers. They’re gamers which have performed Presidents Cups. They’ve the expertise of being in that cauldron, understanding what it takes. However, you recognize, like I mentioned, they knew the choices that they wanted to make with a view to be eligible for the Presidents Cup.

“All of that info was a part of their decision-making course of. So the communication was very open. Everyone knew precisely the place they stood they usually made the choices that they thought had been finest for them, and I respect their selections.”

This yr’s Presidents Cup is being held at Quail Hole in Charlotte, North Carolina, and concludes on Sunday.

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