Greg Norman, Chairman and CEO of LIV Golf, has received opposition from some Republican members of the House of Representatives over support from Saudi Arabia during his periodic presentation and concerns about competitiveness issues for members of Congress.
His criticism came during his meeting with the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative party caucus in the House of Representatives, on Wednesday.
Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) at the meeting pressed Norman about the league’s Saudi relations and why he was not registered as a foreign agent. He has previously called on the Ministry of Justice to investigate whether LIV Golf violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by not registering its relations with the Saudi government.
“Don’t come here and act like you’re doing something amazing while you’re pissing around a billion dollars of Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia’s money into the United States,” Roy told reporters after the meeting. He said Norman’s efforts on Capitol Hill are “public relations for Saudi Arabia — it’s PR for LIV Golf.”
LIV Golf started this year as a PGA Tour competitor, and Norman came to the Capitol to talk to members about what he says are anti-competitive tactics by the PGA. In July, the Department of Justice launched an investigation into the PGA Tour into allegations of possible anti-competitive behavior.
Before the end of Norman’s visit to the group, Representative Tim Burchett (R-Ten) left the meeting, saying he could not fully understand what Norman was saying due to his Australian accent and that it was all “basically propaganda,” dismissing the issues Norman raised about anti-competitive behavior .
“A bunch of rich people [are] “I’m not going to play golf somewhere – it wouldn’t bother me a bit,” Burchett said. “The federal government needs to stay out of that and let the clubs in this country play their own game.”
Borscht also severed LIV Golf’s ties with Saudi Arabia.
“You shouldn’t take our time. [We’re a] A conservative organization, and we have to deal with what we have to deal with in our country, not with — we’re worried about a bunch of Saudis, a bunch of oil billionaires,” Burchett said.
Norman told reporters after the meeting that there was nothing specific about the legislation he was looking for from lawmakers, but he just wanted to tell them “both sides of the story so they understand what LIV is about.”
He said members were “very positive” in their response to his letter, and that it was “great to have an open discussion” with Roy at the meeting.
Norman dismissed concerns about registering as a foreign agent. “We are a trading company. So we are only here to develop golf.”
Norman emphasized that he did not face lawmakers which made him a difficult LIV. “Nobody since I was CEO has told me that this is a bad idea,” he said.
LIV Golf already got a hug from some on the right. In June, former President Trump, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ge), and Fox News host Tucker Carlson attended the LIV golf tournament at Trump Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey.
Representative Jim Banks (R-Ind), chair of the Republican Study Committee, said Norman asked to speak to the group and that there was a “lively discussion,” adding that golf stars Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus are also welcome to come and speak to the group about the PGA.
“Honestly, I’m not a golfer. I don’t have time to play golf,” Banks said. “It’s a great American sport, and Greg Norman is a legend. So we were happy to have him.”
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