LIV not negotiating with PGA Tour: Norman

·2-min read

LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman says he is no longer prepared to negotiate with the PGA Tour and rejected the Saudi-funded series as being a "breakaway" league.

Norman told The Australian newspaper his offers to meet with PGA officials were repeatedly declined as the US-based circuit focused on reforming its own tour in an attempt to hang on to their leading players.

British Open champion Cameron Smith became the latest high profile-name to join the lucrative LIV series, which counts 12 major winners among its players and offers $US25 million ($A37m) purses in no-cut 54-hole tournaments.

The PGA Tour, which suspended members who competed on the rival LIV circuit, has since made sweeping changes including increased purses and an earnings assurance program.

"This notion we're trying to destroy tours is not true. The PGA Tour is trying to destroy us, it's as simple as that. But the PGA Tour has not sat down and had a conversation with myself or any of my investors," Norman said.

"That's why we are where we are today. We tried awfully hard, I know I did personally for the past year ... When we knew we were never going to hear from them, we just decided to go.

"We have no interest in sitting down with them, to be honest with you, because our product is working."

Norman also denied that LIV was a "breakaway" league and that its "business model from day one was always built around being inclusive".

Critics say LIV Golf, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, amounts to "sportswashing" by a nation trying to improve its reputation in the face of criticism over its human rights record.

When asked about that criticism and the presence of protesters at LIV's most recent event in Boston, Norman said: "I don't even pay attention to that, to be honest with you.

"All I can tell you is I'm here for the game of golf ... I focus on building the best league we can."