Norman: Nicklaus a 'hypocrite' for comments on LIV Golf
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman considers Jack Nicklaus a "hypocrite" for distancing himself from the new Saudi-funded tour after the Golden Bear initially supported it.
In a story published Sunday in The Washington Post, Norman blasted Nicklaus for taking two different views on LIV Golf, the start-up tour in competition against the PGA Tour.
Nicklaus had said he chose not to accept an offer more than $100 million to help administrate LIV Golf.
“I turned it down," Nicklaus said. "Once verbally, once in writing. I said, ‘Guys, I have to stay with the PGA Tour. I helped start the PGA Tour.’ ”
Norman said Nicklaus was supportive of LIV.
“Nicklaus attended a LIV presentation and later wrote in an email that the new tour had his blessing,” Norman said. “Quote-unquote, he said: ‘This is good for our game. If it’s good for the game of golf, it’s good by me.' So, you want the facts? You’ve got the facts. Know what you said before you open your mouth.”
Norman added: "“One hundred percent truth? Jack’s a hypocrite.”
In a breach-of-contract lawsuit, Nicklaus Companies, LLC, claims that it convinced Nicklaus to abandon the idea of working with the Saudis.
Norman, who at one time was close with Nicklaus, also addressed LIV Golf issues unrelated to Nicklaus, including the tour offering Tiger Woods a deal that was "mind-blowingly enormous; we're talking about high nine digits." Woods declined the offer.
Norman also criticized Rory McIlroy, suggesting he and other players have been “brainwashed” against LIV Golf. McIlroy has been vocal in speaking out in favor of the PGA Tour.
In the Post article, Norman also took a similar tact to comments made in The Times of London last month, when he appeared to downplay the Saudi government's human rights issues, including ties to the 2018 death of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“I’m not in this thing for Khashoggi or anything like that,” the Post reported Norman saying. "I’m in here because of the game of golf. That’s what I care about. If I focus on the game of golf and don’t get dragged into this other stuff, that’s my priority.”
Norman looked bewildered about the Saudi human rights issue, the Post reported.
“Every country,” he says, “has got a cross to bear.”