Rory McIlroy says Greg Norman must leave LIV to end golf ‘gridlock’

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy didn’t mince words on Tuesday when he called on LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman to leave the new league to end the “stalemate” in golf. Here’s what you need to know:

  • McIlroy’s comments came in the interview room at the DP World Tour Championship, the event he’s playing in Dubai this week.
  • The Irishman has repeatedly criticized LIV Golf and defended the PGA Tour.
  • The PGA Tour and LIV Golf are embroiled in an antitrust lawsuit.

What McIlroy said

McIlroy told reporters he thinks Norman needs to leave LIV to find a solution within golf.

“I think Greg (Norman) has to go, he has to leave the podium on the left,” said McIlroy. “Look, he’s made his mark, but now’s the right time to say, ‘Look, you got this thing (LIV Golf) off the ground, but nobody’s going to talk unless there’s an adult in the room who’s actually doing it. can try. mend fences.”

McIlroy also referred to the antitrust case, saying he doesn’t think it’s possible for the two sides to come to a resolution now.

“Obviously there are two lawsuits going on right now,” he said. “There’s the PGA Tour versus LIV and obviously there’s this one coming up in February with the DP World Tour. Nothing can happen if those two things are going on. Now it’s a bit of a stalemate.”

Backstory

LIV’s lawsuit began as a legal action by the players, not the fledgling men’s professional golf tour funded by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and led by Norman.

The original antitrust suit was filed by Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, Matt Jones, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Ian Poulter, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Peter Uihlein on August 3. As part of the lawsuit, Gooch, Swafford and Jones sought a temporary restraining order to participate in the FedExCup Playoffs.

The PGA Tour’s legal strategy towards LIV was first seen in an August 8 response to the restraining order. The tour’s counter stated that suspended tour members who defected to LIV but still attempted to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs “deliberately violated their contract with the tour” and “made up an emergency” in an attempt to play.

On August 9, the tour recorded its first win in what could be a long battle. A U.S. federal judge denied the request for a restraining order and formally banned LIV players from participating in the PGA Tour playoffs.

Since then, Mickelson, Poulter, Gooch, Swafford, Ancer, Kokrak, Ortiz and Perez have withdrawn from the original antitrust case. However, when those players pulled out, LIV formally joined the legal action against the tour in an amended complaint filed on August 27.

In late September, the PGA Tour opposed LIV Golf, accusing the new circuit of unlawfully interfering with the tour’s contracts with golfers defecting to the upstart rival.

A legal hearing will be held in February to determine whether European players such as Lee Westwood and Poulter will be banned from the DP World Tour.

What’s next for LIV Golf?

LIV Golf announced on Sunday evening that one of its 14 events in 2023 will take place in Australia. The league has made a multi-year commitment to hosting events in Australia, the first of which will be held at the Grange Golf Club in Adelaide on 21-23 April 2023.

When is the DP World Tour Championship?

The tournament on the European Tour will be played at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 16 to 20. McIlroy, who holds first place in the event, has won the DP World Tour Championship twice.

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(Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

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