Greg Norman Is Going to Washington to Lobby Congress on Behalf of LIV Golf
Members of the upstart series are also petitioning the Official World Golf Ranking for inclusion in the OWGR's points system
In his role as LIV Golf CEO and commissioner, Greg Norman will be heading to Capitol Hill later this week and lobbying Congress on behalf of his new golf circuit.
LIV Golf, which is already paying professional lobbyists to represent its interests in Washington, recently joined a federal antitrust lawsuit filed by some of its players against the PGA Tour that challenges their suspensions from the Tour for joining the Saudi-backed series that Norman presides over.
“LIV Golf is coming to the Hill this week to meet with lawmakers from both parties,” LIV Golf spokesperson Jonathan Grella told ESPN. “Given the PGA Tour’s attempts to stifle our progress in reimagining the game, we think it’s imperative to educate members on LIV’s business model and counter the Tour’s anti-competitive efforts.”
Politico, which was first to report the news of Norman heading to Washington, reports the 67-year-old Australian will speak with the Republican Study Committee during their weekly lunch on Wednesday.
“We’re excited to have him. He’s a legend. I think a lot of us are just curious. There’s the PGA vs. LIV Golf. The competitive nature of it. There’s been a lot of publicity about it,” group chairman Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) told Politico.
In related LIV Golf news, members of the upstart series are also petitioning the Official World Golf Ranking for inclusion in the OWGR’s points system and sent the organization’s chairman Peter Dawson a letter that has been posted online.
“As the athletes who are ranked, we depend on OWGR not just to qualify for the most important events, including the Majors and Olympics, but to tell us where we stand among our peers. Trust in the OWGR has been widespread and well-deserved,” per the letter. “To maintain trust, we urge you – as one of the true statesmen of sports – to act appropriately to include, on a retroactive basis, the results of LIV Golf events in OWGR’s ranking calculations. An OWGR without LIV would be incomplete and inaccurate, the equivalent of leaving the Big 10 or the SEC out of the U.S. college football rankings, or leaving Belgium, Argentina, and England out of the FIFA rankings.”
LIV Golf formally applied for admission to the OWGR in mid-July but has yet to be approved. That has led golfers like Dustin Johnson, who was ranked 13th on the OWGR before he announced he would be joining LIV and now ranks 22nd despite finishing eighth, third, second and first in the first four LIV events, to slide.
“We hope the story we read today about the decision being slow walked so LIV golfers will slide down and to harm LIV is not accurate. We call on you to render a positive decision quickly — for the benefit of the integrity of the rankings, the game and all of us who love the sport,” the letter concludes. “After all, the fans deserve rankings that are inclusive and accurate. Failure to include 48 of the world’s best golfers would mean the fans are being denied what they deserve.”
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