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LIV boss Norman rejects other states, locks in Adelaide

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LIV boss Norman rejects other states, locks in Adelaide

Greg Norman has rejected lucrative offers from other states to declare Adelaide the sole host of LIV Golf in Australia for the foreseeable future.

LIV Golf’s chief executive says he is rewarding the South Australian government for taking an upfront risk by turning away other interests.

Queensland and Western Australia were among the aggressive bidders for LIV to expand into Australia, but Norman says Adelaide will remain the only tournament.

“Has there been interest from other states? Yes, there absolutely has been,” Norman told reporters in Adelaide on Wednesday.

“But first we were in South Australia.

“The prime minister assumed the responsibility of confronting the LIV from the beginning, not very sure of the result.

“But now, because he’s done that and because South Australia has done that, we have to look at that into the future as well.”

South Africa’s Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas said his government was willing to continue hosting LIV beyond the expiration of the current agreement in 2026.

“We are certainly interested in participating because we believe this event is quickly becoming part of the state’s economic history,” Malinauskas told reporters.

The second edition of LIV Golf in Adelaide begins on Friday at The Grange, with crowd capacity increased by 50 per cent to approximately 120,000 across the three rounds.

Norman described the Adelaide tournament as a model for LIV, while dismissing speculation that the breakaway tour had made a bid to lure Rory McIlroy.

The popular Northern Irishman and US PGA Tour stalwart was rumored to have been offered $1.3 billion ($2 billion) to move to LIV.

“LIV never made him an offer, this is just the typical white noise you hear in the industry,” Norman said.

“If Rory was willing to sit down and talk to us, would we be happy to sit down with him? One hundred percent.

“He’s no different than any other player who would be interested in coming and playing for us.

“I sat down with a top PGA Tour player at his house with another member of my team going through the whole process and he said ‘well, that’s not what they tell us in the locker room and this is really impressive.’

“But he made the decision, he called me two days later and told me: ‘I have decided to stay where I am.’

“I said ‘happy days, you’ve made a decision based on the facts, and if you’re happier there, fine, stay there – the door is always open if you want to come back and have a conversation.'”

Norman said he had no idea about negotiations between LIV and the US PGA Tour, which about 10 months ago announced a “framework agreement” for unity.

LIV recruit and former world number one Jon Rahm also had no signs of any progress.

“I think there are a lot of unknowns on everyone’s part,” Rahm told reporters.

“To be honest, I haven’t talked to enough players on the PGA Tour to know where they stand, so I don’t know if it’s impatience or just lack of knowledge in general.

“But I think we all want this to be resolved and, as I have said many times, we have the opportunity to take golf to the next level in the global market.

“If done correctly, we can end up with a better product for everyone.”

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