Saudi Golf CEO: LIV could create its own majors

Richard Cashin-USA TODAY Sports

Acknowledging the possibility that most LIV Golf players won’t be allowed entry to the sports’ top events, Saudi Golf Federation CEO Majed Al Sorour said the new circuit might create its own majors.

In an article published Tuesday, Sorour told the New Yorker, “For now, the majors are siding with the (PGA) Tour, and I don’t know why. If the majors decide not to have our players play? I will celebrate. I will create my own majors for my players. Honestly, I think all the tours are being run by guys who don’t understand business.”

Players who left the PGA Tour for Saudi-backed LIV Golf this year were suspended from the U.S.-based circuit. LIV is attempting to get its events sanctioned by the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), which could put its players in line to make the 2023 majors on the merits of their LIV results.

Thus far, though, the OWGR has yet to approve LIV events for its formula despite LIV recently teaming with the MENA Tour of Middle Eastern and North African events.

Sorour told the New Yorker that LIV’s plans were nearly scuttled after Phil Mickelson was quoted decrying Saudi Arabia’s human-rights history.

“I called the boss (Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund) and said, ‘Everyone’s walking away. Do you want to do it or not?'” Sorour said, according to the New Yorker. “Get the biggest mediocres, get the 10 (players) that we have, get you and I, and let’s go play for $25 million.”

Ultimately, LIV was able to attract Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Cameron Smith, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood, among others.

One player they didn’t sign was Tiger Woods. While LIV Golf chief executive officer Greg Norman told Fox News in August that Woods declined an offer of between $700 million and $800 million, Sorour denied that report.

“It’s not straight-out money,” Sorour told the New Yorker. “I never offered him that money — not even close to that.”

–Field Level Media

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