Greg Norman cops rejection from Victorian government in LIV Golf furore

Greg Norman and his wife, pictured here at an LIV Golf event.
Daniel Andrews and the Victorian government have reportedly rejected Greg Norman and LIV Golf. Image: Getty

The Victorian government has reportedly rejected a proposal from the Greg Norman-led LIV Golf to host an event in the state.

Aussie legend Norman is the CEO of the controversial new golf league, which is reportedly funded by $3 billion from Saudi Arabia, and is looking to host an event in Australia.

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However Victoria has become the second Aussie state to knock Norman back after Royal Sydney also rejected the idea of hosting LIV Golf recently.

According to The Age, LIV officials toured a number of courses in Victoria recently and made contact with Kingston Heath and Peninsula Kingswood.

But Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, who is said to have a personal relationship with PGA commissioner Jay Monahan, has reportedly knocked back LIV and sided with the PGA Tour instead.

“No talks or negotiations have taken place between the government and LIV Golf league representatives,” a Victorian government spokesperson told The Age.

Andrews is a big golf fan and struck a deal with Monahan to host the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne in 2019.

LIV Golf is at the centre of major controversy due to its links with Saudi Arabia, with the regime accused of trying to 'sports-wash' its image amid an appalling human rights record.

Australian star Cameron Smith became LIV's highest-profile signing last month, a move that saw him banned by Monahan from competing at PGA events in the future.

Grange Golf Club in Adelaide - where Norman won in 1976 and redesigned the course in 2012 - is said to be in 'advanced talks' to host an LIV event.

“I haven’t seen much evidence of the US PGA doing Australian golfing supporters any favours recently,” South Australian premier Peter Malinauskas said recently.

“I think it’s about time golf had a bit of a shake-up. So to that end, I wish LIV Golf all the best.”

Greg Norman and Cameron Smith, pictured here at an LIV Golf event in Chicago.
Greg Norman and Cameron Smith at an LIV Golf event in Chicago. (Photo by Montana Pritchard/LIV Golf via Getty Images)

Greg Norman accused of 'pimping Saudi Arabian money'

Norman was last week accused by US lawmakers of “pimping a billion dollars of Saudi Arabian money” and of spreading “propaganda”.

The former World No.1 was in Washington last week to criticise what he has called the PGA’s “anti-competitive efforts” to stifle LIV.

But the Saudi tour instead copped considerable backlash from both Democrats and Republicans.

"Don't come in here and act like you're doing some great thing, while you're pimping a billion dollars of Saudi Arabian money," Chip Roy, a representative of Texas, said.

Greg Norman, pictured here at an LIV Golf charity event.
Greg Norman at an LIV Golf charity event. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

"I respect Greg and his [right] to go out and do whatever he wants to do. But it's not as simple as he tries to make it out to be… this isn't about pure competition. Don't come in here and try to sell me something that is not what you're actually selling.

"It's not Congress' business to settle a fight between a bunch of billionaires over a game of golf.

"You're selling something that is very much in bed with the Saudis, so the Saudis can accomplish their objective and Greg can accomplish his.

"He's always wanted to have a rival operation to take on the tour, and he's been unable to do it until he got a billion-dollar sugar daddy known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

with agencies

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