Why does Tiger Woods believe Greg Norman needs to resign as LIV Golf CEO in order for peace talks with the PGA to occur?
Asked directly about the requirements for a better relationship between the two golf leagues and the Woods didn’t mince his words.
Though he won’t be participating in the 2022 Hero World Challenge, the legendary golfer is still in the spotlight following his recent comments about another former icon of the sport and what he believes he should do.
Tiger Woods calls for Greg Norman’s resignation from LIV Golf
Speaking in his first press conference in more than four months on Tuesday, Tiger Woods took a step into the realm of high-level negotiation and conflict resolution. Indeed, one could’ve been forgiven for thinking the 15-time major champion was a commissioner and not a player. Amidst numerous questions about the possibility of peace talks between the PGA and rival league LIV Golf, Woods gave his opinion on what he believes would be required if such negotiations were to take place.
“I see that there’s an opportunity out there if both organizations put a stay on their litigation, but that’s the problem, they’ve got to put a stay on it. And whether or not they do that or not, there’s no willingness to negotiate if you have a litigation against you,” said Woods. “So, if they both have a stay and then have a break and then they can meet and figure something out, then maybe there is something to be had. ...But I think Greg [Norman] has to go, first of all, and then obviously litigation against us and then our countersuit against them, those would then have to be at a stay as well. So, then we can talk, we can all talk freely.” What’s interesting here, is that Woods’ words aren’t a new idea. Fans will remember that his long-time friend and business partner Rory McIlroy also echoed similar sentiments before the 2022 DP World Tour Championship. “It has to start with leadership on their side,” Woods added. “Understanding that what is happening right now is not in the best ... it’s not in the best fit or future for the whole game of golf. Now, what is the best way for our game to grow? It’s not this way. But, granted, you need to have the two bodies come together. If one side has so much animosity, someone trying to destroy our tour, then how do you work with that?”
Can the PGA and LIV Golf work things out?
To be clear, LIV Golf and the PGA Tour have two ongoing battles in court: An antitrust lawsuit filed by LIV Golf, which claims the PGA Tour illegally suspended players for competing in LIV Golf events and then, there’s a countersuit from the PGA Tour, which claims LIV interfered with player contracts. The question here is: If those lawsuits were dropped and Norman removed, how exactly would the two parties move forward? It’s a question that even Woods admits he doesn’t have the answer to.
“We don’t know. No one knows,” Tiger said of what middle ground between the two tours would look like. “Right now, it’s -- there’s a lot of animosity, especially from their leadership. And they want to be a validated tour with world ranking points and they’re buying up tours around the world, and I don’t know - I don’t know what their end game is. ...It might be just being an official member of the golf ecosystem and being recognized with world ranking points. I think that’s what their intended goal is. You know, they’ve spent probably close to $2 billion this year. Who’s to say they can’t spend 4 or $5 billion next year? You know, we just don’t know. It’s an endless pit of money. But that doesn’t necessarily create legacies either. You want to compare yourself to [Ben] Hogan, you want to compare yourself to [Sam] Snead, you want to compare yourself to [Jack] Nicklaus, you can’t do that over there, but you can on this Tour.”