CALIFORNIA’S PACIFIC PALISADES – Greg Norman had another another disappointing Sunday.
The Hall of Fame golfer, who is spearheading the Saudi Golf League’s efforts, is known for blowing multiple majors on Sundays. In the ongoing power battle for dominance of the professional game, he suffered a blow of a different kind when both Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson proclaimed their loyalty to the PGA Tour.
The tremendous support for the Tour this week from many of golf’s biggest personalities, according to Rory McIlroy, is a death blow to the Saudi Golf League.
“Who’s left?” says the narrator. Who’s the last one to leave? There’s no one, after all. In my perspective, it’s a lost cause. “I just don’t see why anyone would want to attend,” McIlroy remarked.
DeChambeau, who was said to have been promised at least $150 million, was anticipated to become the Tour’s face among the 40-and-under crowd. Not shortly after Johnson had the PGA Tour’s communication department tweet on his behalf, he posted a message on social media. McIlroy claimed he didn’t know where DeChambeau stood until the Genesis Invitational’s final round.
McIlroy remarked, “No one really knew where Bryson stood.” “I’m delighted DJ and Bryson came out with those sentiments this week. We all want to play against the top players in the world, and they’re definitely two of the best, so it’s nice to know they’re dedicated to coming here and making this the best tour in the world.
Norman and his leadership team were also the target of McIlroy’s arrows.”
I knew how these guys operated, and it’s all been smoke and mirrors, and they’ve spread rumors and tried to play one guy off another, saying one thing to one manager and another manager, and just creating chaos and confusion around that group, with everyone questioning everyone else’s motives, so they’re just playing everyone off one another. He said, “I think it’s wonderful now that we can all sit down and say, hey, we’re all on the same page here.”
“Of course, there are things the Tour could do better, which they are working on, but that’s true of any business or sports league around the world; they’re all trying to improve, just like the PGA Tour.” But that is why, when the tournament in Saudi Arabia took place a few weeks ago, I thought it was unusually quiet; no official announcements were made, and I believe that once that happened, everyone was waiting for something to happen, but nothing did.”
“I would say don’t attempt to fix something that isn’t broken,” McIlroy added. “I don’t believe the Tour or the system are broken.”
He also stated that failing to gain Tiger Woods’ endorsement was a major setback.
“The professional world still revolves around Tiger, he is the epicenter, and if they don’t have him,” McIlroy said, “it doesn’t stand a chance.” “Like, who knows when he’ll play again, but if they don’t have his blessing, it doesn’t stand a chance.” Then there’s Jon Rahm, the best player in the world, Collin Morikawa, the No. 2 player, me, who’s been up there for a while, and everyone else.”
Apart from Norman, McIlroy had some harsh words for Phil Mickelson, who was cited by Alan Shipnuck in a report on the Fire Pit Collective as being in cahoots with the Saudis in order to leverage as much as possible and restructure the Tour’s structure.
“Obviously, I don’t want to kick someone while he’s down,” McIlroy explained, “but I thought they were naive, selfish, egotistical, and dumb.” “It was just very unexpected and disappointing, as well as sad.” I’m sure he’s at home, rethinking his position and where he wants to go next.”
Norman, too, could be Norman, and McIlroy fired another pot shot at him.
“Do you have someone else to fill the field?” The Saudi Golf League events, according to McIlroy. “To fill the field, Greg Norman would have to tee it up.” Seriously, what am I saying? Who else is going to do it, after all? “I don’t think they’ll be able to get 48 men.”