Norman – “This is just the beginning. It certainly is not the end”

Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman, CEO of Liv Golf Investments in Saudi (Photo by Luke Walker/WME IMG/WME IMG via Getty Images)

If PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan thought the Saudi Golf League was about to go down without a fight, think again, with news of an open letter from Greg Norman signalling that the war has just begun.

The Shark has accused Monahan of issuing “unenforceable” threats, most notably that players would be banned for life from the PGA Tour should they join a breakaway league.

With Rory McIlroy believing the SGL is “dead in the water” after a number of the game’s best players committed to the PGA Tour, it was Brooks Koepka who declared that with so much money on the table, the Saudi threat hadn’t gone away, with Koepka convinced players will still “sell out” if given the chance to do so.

Now Koepka’s suspicions have been confirmed with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman all but declaring war on PGA Tour chief Monahan with the following letter:

“Dear Commissioner Monahan,

Surely you jest. And surely, your lawyers at the PGA Tour must be holding their breath.

“As has been widely reported, you have threatened the players on the PGA Tour, all of whom are independent contractors, with lifetime bans if they decide to play golf in a league sponsored by anyone other than the Tour.

“For decades, I have fought for the rights of players to enjoy a career in which they are rewarded fully and properly for their efforts. They are one-in-a-million athletes.

“Why do you call the crown jewel in all tournaments outside the Majors “The Players Championship” and not “The Administration’s Championship?”

“But when you try to bluff and intimidate players by bullying and threatening them, you are guilty of going too far, being unfair, and you likely are in violation of the law.

“Simply put, you can’t ban players from playing golf. Players have the right and the freedom to play where we like. I know for a fact that many PGA players were and still are interested in playing for a new league, in addition to playing for the Tour. What is wrong with that?

“What is wrong with allowing players to make their own decisions about where to play and how often to play? What is so wrong with player choice? Why do you feel so threatened that you would resort to such a desperate, unwise, and unenforceable threat?”

“Competition in all aspects of life, sport, and business is healthy and the players deserve to be well compensated, which is why so many players have expressed an interest in playing in a new league.

“But when you threaten to end players’ careers and when you engage in unfair labour practices with your web of player restrictions, you demonstrate exactly why players are open minded about joining a league that treats players well, respects them, and compensates them according to their true worth.

“Commissioner – this is just the beginning. It certainly is not the end.”

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