Rory McIlroy has called on Greg Norman to leave LIV Golf in order to spark the prospect of a compromise with the sport’s traditional tours.
The world No 1 believes the Australian’s divisive personality is hindering the prospect of peace with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour, as golf’s civil war rumbles on.
There has been recent speculation that Norman could move away from his role as CEO, but Majed Al-Sorour, LIV’s managing director, quickly dismissed those reports.
And McIlroy, who has sniped at Norman this year, specifically relating to the number of PGA Tour victories after winning the Canadian Open, believes it is time for “the adults” to take over and thrash out a truce.
“There’s a few things that I would like to see on the LIV side that needs to happen [before talks can begin],” McIlroy said. “I think Greg needs to go. I think he just needs to exit stage left. He’s made his mark but I think now is the right time to sort of say, look, you’ve got this thing off the ground but no one is going to talk unless there’s an adult in the room that can actually try to mend fences.
“It’s obviously been a very contentious year in golf. The best thing in golf is to have all the best players playing together, and what’s happening right now, that’s not happening.
“So I fear for the game when that’s going on. It’s contentious because there’s lawsuits going on and people suing people; it’s very, very messy.
“If all that stuff can be sorted out one way or the other, then you can get to the stage where there’s forgiveness and people can have dialogue and come to some sort of common ground or compromise. But while all this is happening, it’s very hard to do that.”
Despite debate over his future with LIV Golf, Norman continues to play a prominent role with intent to build on the league’s debut season with future events in Australia, which proved particularly attractive to persuade Open champion Cameron Smith to join.
And Australian fans were told by Norman that Adelaide will be the first to host a LIV Golf event down under next year.