LIV Golf rebels Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson in Hall of Fame furore

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Pictured left to right are golfing greats Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson.
A leading golf analyst says LIV Golf rebels Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson should be scrapped from the Hall of Fame. Pic: Getty

A leading American analyst has called on Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson to be stripped of their Hall of Fame honours, in the wake of the LIV Golf controversy that is threatening to tear the sport apart.

Norman is the CEO of the Saudi-backed rebel competition and six-time major winner Mickelson is its most high-profile recruit, having accepted a deal worth a reported $US200 million ($AUD278 million) to jump ship from the PGA Tour.

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The LIV series is the most lucrative in golf history, and commenced at the plush Centurion Club near London, amid much fanfare last week.

However, its participants have been accused of turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's atrocious human rights record by helping to facilitate the country's 'sportswashing' program around the world.

The controversy has largely overshadowed the build-up to the third major of the year - this week's US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Essentially every interview that has been conducted with the golfers in the build-up to the US Open has centred on the Saudi-backed competition.

Iconic American analyst Brandel Chamblee - himself a winner on the PGA Tour - has been one of the most vocal critics of the LIV Golf defectors, insisting that they are "destroying the game" and "destroying their reputations".

Chamblee - who works as a pundit for The Golf Channel - went as far as suggesting that Norman and Mickelson should be scrapped from golf's Hall of Fame, in response to their involvement in the controversial breakaway competition.

"As far as I know, it's never happened that an athlete has been kicked out of their hall of fame but both Norman & Mickelson should be removed from the Hall Of Fame," Chamblee wrote on Twitter.

"They've dishonoured the game & they threaten to destroy the game that they have both so enormously profited from."

Phil Mickelson at centre of LIV Golf drama

Chamblee declared recently that Mickelson had taken a "flamethrower" to the very PGA Tour that had turned him into a multi-millionaire and a household name around the world.

The analyst then took his own flamethrower to those who had chosen to join Mickelson in what has been described as an immoral cash-grab.

"When I hear these players say that they are ‘growing the game’... it makes me want to puke. They’re destroying the game. And they are destroying their reputations," he said.

“This is one of the saddest days in the history of golf. Watching these players come together for money and show to the world... they are showing us that they are the greediest, most self-serving, self-interested, wilfully blind players in the world of golf today.”

Brandel Chamblee says golfers such as Phil Mickelson have destroyed their reputations by joining the LIV Golf series. Pic: Getty
Brandel Chamblee says golfers such as Phil Mickelson have destroyed their reputations by joining the LIV Golf series. Pic: Getty

Mickelson said in February that the Saudi regime funding the new tour had some "scary mother f***ers" but still took a reported $US200 million ($AUD278 million) to play in it.

One of the most popular players in the world, Mickelson said he was unsure if his supporters would abandon him at the US Open.

"The Boston crowds are some of the best in sports," Mickelson said during a 25-minute media session after arriving in Massachusetts from last week's LIV event outside of London.

"I think that their excitement and energy is what creates such a great atmosphere.

"So whether it's positive or negative towards me directly, I think it's going to provide an incredible atmosphere to hold this championship."

with agencies

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