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Other Sports'I appreciate Rory falling on his sword' – Norman labels McIlroy's new...

‘I appreciate Rory falling on his sword’ – Norman labels McIlroy’s new LIV Golf stance a turning point

Rory McIlroy’s softened stance on LIV Golf represents a “significant turning point” for the sport, according to Greg Norman, chief executive of the controversial breakaway circuit.

McIlroy has been one of the most vehement critics of LIV Golf, which has used the financial muscle of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund to lure several household names away from the PGA Tour during the last two years.

Talks over a proposed merger between the two circuits began last June but failed to bring about a resolution before a self-imposed deadline of December 31, 2023, though they are expected to continue throughout 2024.

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McIlroy, who criticised several players for making the move to LIV and said he felt like a “sacrificial lamb” when the PGA began talks with the circuit, revealed a somewhat softened stance on the rival tour earlier this week.

The world number two said he would be open to playing an event backed by LIV, adding he would like to see the Circuit take on a role resembling that of cricket’s Indian Premier League.

Two-time Open champion Norman welcomed McIlroy’s words when speaking on LIV’s ‘Fairway to Heaven’ podcast on Thursday, saying: “The reason I appreciate Rory falling on his sword, to some degree, is the fact that he did judge us while not knowing the facts.

“He judged us on other people’s thoughts and opinions. So, I say, ‘hey, thank you Rory’.

“We all knew it was going to work within the golf ecosystem. We all wanted to be there, we are going to be there. He said that. To me, this is a hugely significant turning point for everybody.”

Masters champion Jon Rahm became arguably LIV’s most significant recruit last month, having previously ruled out a move to the circuit.

That switch led McIlroy to say he regrets being “too judgemental” of players who first joined LIV during its inaugural season in 2022.

During a United States Senate sub-committee hearing in Washington last year to investigate the framework agreement which should lead to a merger, it was revealed that LIV considered offering McIlroy and Tiger Woods ownership of team franchises as part of their peace deal with the PGA.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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