Greg Norman, head of the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tourfaced some conservative criticism Tuesday when he met with a group of House Republicans behind closed doors on Capitol Hill.
Norman, on a Washington visit as part of a public relations push to sell lawmakers on the benefits of the PGA Tour’s new rival, also discussed his league’s Saudi financing during a Republican Study Committee meeting. The question was asked.
LIV Golf is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund headed by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – and has pledged $250 million in total prize money.
Rep. Chip Roy, Republican of Texas, suggested he did not mince words with Norman, who told the Republican that the purpose of his visit was “competition” — a claim that Roy thought was “nonsense.” Although he said he would be happy to sit down with Norman and talk more about it.
“Don’t sell us, ‘it’s just about the competition’ when they won’t respond to nearly a billion dollars to buy PGA players that will result in a billion dollars in PR for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” ” Roy told CNN, he said. There may be a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
LIV Golf has spent eye-watering sums to poach the PGA Tour’s top players, reportedly paying people nine figures just to sign with the new league and huge purses for the winners of its tournaments. Offered. In early August, Norman confirmed. on Fox News that golf legend Tiger Woods turned down an offer of around $700-$800 million to join LIV Golf.
Rep. Jim Banks, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, told CNN that it was a “lively debate” and that overall Norman was “well received by our members.”
The Indiana Republican noted that Norman asked to meet with his group, which has regular meetings with outside guests.
“Some members addressed the Saudi-backed funding. That came up in the discussion, and Mr. Norman addressed those issues,” Banks said. “He explained how the investment fund would have been set up.” and other investments they have made in the United States. He promised to sit with the members individually.
Banks said there was “no asking” by Norman to act on behalf of the league to Congress and that the purpose of the meeting was more “public relations” than anything else.
Banks added: “If Tiger Woods wants to come and talk about his issues with the PGA and LIV Golf, we’d love for him to come too.”
LIV golfers are not allowed to play in this week’s Presidents Cup, a biennial competition pitting an international team against an American team, which begins Thursday.
For international captain Trevor Immelman, it proved to be a selection headache for players like the Open champion. Cameron SmithChile’s Joaquin Niemann and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen were suspended.
“I would say too much disruption is probably an understatement,” Immelman told CNN Sport’s Don Riedel. “It’s definitely been an interesting process.”
But opposing captain Davis Love III has more depth at his disposal than Emilman, who lamented the absence of some “incredible players” from the team.
The international team has an unfavorable record in the Presidents Cup having won just once in 13 editions of the competition.
“Over the last year or so, as these fractures (between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour) started to happen, every single player on our squad knew exactly what the rules were and they knew it. What decisions they need to make. A chance to play in the President’s Cup,” he added.
Asked if he would miss the likes of Smith, Niemann and Oosthuizen, Immelman said: “Those guys are incredible players. They’re players who have played in the Presidents Cup. They’ve had the experience of being in that cauldron. Yes, they understand what it takes. But, you know, like I said, they knew the decisions they needed to make to be eligible for the Presidents Cup.
“All of that information was part of their decision-making process. So the communication was very open. Everyone knew exactly where they stood and they made the decisions that were best for them, and I respect their decisions. I respect
This year’s President’s Cup is being held in Quill Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina and will conclude on Sunday.