Australian golf great Greg Norman has accused the PGA Tour of unfairly threatening its players in a bid to thwart a proposed Saudi-backed Super League, ESPN reported Thursday.
The US sports website said it had obtained a copy of a letter from Norman to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, in which Norman accused Monahan of “going too far,” and “being unfair” in telling players they would be denied US PGA Tour membership if they play on the rival circuit.
“Simply put, you can’t ban players from playing golf,” Norman wrote. “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?”
Norman has spearheaded plans for the new tour, which had hoped to launch later this year with 14 events.
The upstart group hoped to lure top players with the promise of guaranteed money, but a string of the world’s best have opted out, including world number one Jon Rahm of Spain, Northern Ireland star Rory McIlroy, and US stars Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau.
But Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler echoed six-time major winner Phil Mickelson in suggesting that even the threat of a breakaway league might force changes in the US PGA Tour that would benefit players.
And the sheer money involved could yet see the Super League plans come to fruition.
That’s the stance Norman took.
“Commissioner — this is just the beginning,” Norman wrote to Monahan. “It certainly is not the end.”
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