Norman, on a visit to Washington as a part of a public-relations push to promote lawmakers about the advantages of the PGA tour’s new rival, was additionally questioned through the Republican Research Committee assembly about his league’s Saudi financing.
LIV Golf is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund (PIF) — a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia — and has pledged to award $250 million in complete prize cash.
Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, urged that he did not mince phrases with Norman, who advised the Republican that the objective of his tour is “competition” — an assertion that Roy thought was “nonsense,” although he mentioned he’d be glad to take a seat down and discuss with Norman about it additional.
“Don’t sell us, ‘This is just about competition’ when they won’t answer about a billion dollars to buy off PGA players resulting in a billion dollars of PR for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Roy advised CNN, saying they could possibly be in violation of the Overseas Brokers Registration Act.
Rep. Jim Banks, the chairman of the Republican Research Committee, advised CNN that it was “lively discussion” and that general Norman was “well received by our members.”
The Indiana Republican famous that Norman requested to fulfill together with his group, which has common conferences with exterior friends.
“Some members addressed the Saudi-backed funding. That came up in the discussion, and Mr. Norman addressed those issues,” Banks mentioned. “He explained how the investment fund is set up and other investments that they’ve made in the United States. He promised to sit down with members individually.”
Banks mentioned “there was no ask” by Norman for Congress to behave on the league’s behalf and that the aim of the assembly was extra “public relations” than anything.
Banks added: “If Tiger Woods wants to come in and talk about the PGA and his issues with LIV Golf, we’d love to have him come too.”
LIV Golf gamers haven’t been granted permission to play on this week’s Presidents Cup, a biennial competitors pitting an Worldwide Workforce and a US Workforce in opposition to one another, which tees off on Thursday.
“I would say hugely disruptive is probably an understatement,” Immelman advised CNN Sport’s Don Riddell. “It sure has been an interesting process.”
However opposing captain Davis Love III arguably has extra depth at his disposal than Immelman, who lamented the absence of some “incredible players” from the crew.
The Worldwide Workforce has an unfavorable document within the Presidents Cup having gained simply as soon as in 13 editions of the competitors.
“Over the last year or so, as these fractures (between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour) were starting to occur, every single player on our squad knew exactly what the rules were and knew what decisions they needed to make in order to have the opportunity to play in the Presidents Cup,” he added.
Requested if he would miss the likes of Smith, Niemann and Oosthuizen, Immelman mentioned: “Those guys are incredible players. They’re players that have played Presidents Cups. They have the experience of being in that cauldron, understanding what it takes. But, you know, like I said, they knew the decisions that they needed to make in order to be eligible for the Presidents Cup.
“All of that info was a part of their decision-making course of. So the communication was very open. All people knew precisely the place they stood they usually made the choices that they thought have been finest for them, and I respect their choices.”
This 12 months’s Presidents Cup is being held at Quail Hole in Charlotte, North Carolina, and concludes on Sunday.
CNN’s Don Riddell and Jack Bantock contributed to reporting.