A LIV Golf official sought to rebut a report last week that CEO Greg Norman would be kicked upstairs in a shakeup of the Saudi-funded rival tour shortly after its debut season.
“Greg Norman is our CEO and Commissioner,” LIV Golf managing director Majed Al Sorour said in a statement. “Any suggestion that changes are being made to Greg’s title or role is patently false.”
Mark King, the former head of TaylorMade and Adidas North America who spent nearly four decades in the golf business, is the main target to replace Norman before an expanded LIV Golf League begins its second season in February, according to a report by James Corrigan in The Telegraph of London. King, 63, has been the CEO of Taco Bell since 2019.
Late last month, before LIV’s season-ending event at Trump National Doral, Norman told Global Golf Post’s Ron Green Jr. in a one-on-one interview that the debut season was “way better than I anticipated.”
King would bring a record of golf retail innovation and success to LIV. Under his leadership, TaylorMade sales soared from $300 million annually to nearly $2 billion. At Adidas, he tripled sales in four years. READ MORE
The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, Australia, will play host to LIV Golf’s debut event in the country, the tour announced late Sunday in disclosing a multiyear commitment to stage LIV Golf League events Down Under. The tournament dates will be April 21-23, 2023. Australia, the home nation of LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman and marquee recruit Cameron Smith, is a key expansion market for the Saudi-funded tour as it prepares for its second season. LIV Golf has yet to announce its 14-tournament schedule for 2023. READ MORE
Nearly four years after the USGA and R&A introduced an overhaul of the Rules of Golf, the game’s governing bodies announced five upcoming changes designed to simplify and modernize how we play the game.
The Rules of Golf, which were last revised Jan. 1, 2019, in a sweeping rewrite that trimmed the number of rules from 34 to 24, will address these areas effective Jan. 1, 2023:
– modifications for players with disabilities, which will become Rule 25
– easing player responsibility for including a correct handicap on a scorecard in stroke play
– extending greater allowances for replacing a damaged club during a round, provided that the club wasn’t altered in anger
– providing for a ball at rest that is moved by natural forces to be replaced without penalty
– simplifying the back-on-the-line relief procedure that governs situations in penalty areas and unplayable lies
Also, the USGA and R&A intend to steer golfers toward use of the governing bodies’ phone apps for the Rules of Golf, significantly reducing the production of 4 million-plus printed rulebooks. READ MORE
Argentina’s Angel Cabrera, the only South American to have won two major championships, was convicted for a second time of having assaulted an ex-domestic partner, according to Agence France-Presse.
Cabrera was sentenced to two years and four months in the assault of Micaela Escudero. He had been convicted in July 2021 of a similar incident involving another former girlfriend, Cecilia Torres Mana, after being found guilty of beating her and stealing her phone. Cabrera was sentenced to two years in that case. His sentences are set to run concurrently.
Cabrera, 53, known as El Pato (The Duck) for his waddling gait, won the 2007 U.S. Open and the 2009 Masters. He narrowly missed a third major title, losing the 2013 Masters in a playoff against Adam Scott.
Cabrera last competed in September 2020 on PGA Tour Champions during a season in which he had no top-25 results in nine starts on the 50-and-older tour. He was arrested in January 2021 in Rio de Janeiro and extradited five months later to Argentina, where he faced the first assault charge.
“Many say prison is bad, but it’s not the case,” Cabrera said during the recent trial, according to local media. “Prison has done me good.” READ MORE
Roger Maltbie and Gary Koch, both former PGA Tour winners who have spent decades on golf telecasts with NBC Sports, will not return to the network next year, Golfweek reported. The network wants to “refresh” its broadcasting team, a spokeswoman said.
Maltbie, 71, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, has covered golf with NBC since 1992, working as an on-course reporter. Koch, 69, a six-time tour winner, joined the network full-time in 1997, serving as an analyst. Koch made one of the most enduring calls in golf, exclaiming, “Better than most!” as Tiger Woods sank a downhill, double-breaking putt on the island 17th hole en route to victory at the 2001 Players Championship. Maltbie and Koch also formed a formidable pair on the golf course, teaming to win three Raphael Division (ages 50-69) titles in the PGA Tour Champions’ Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.
NBC plans to air tributes to Maltbie and Koch during the PNC Championship next month in Orlando, Florida. READ MORE
Linn Grant, who has broken through this year with six worldwide victories, will not be able to play in this week’s LPGA finale, the CME Group Tour Championship, because she has not been vaccinated against the coronavirus, Golfweek reported.
In a statement, Grant said, “with travel restrictions to enter the U.S. for unvaccinated still remaining, it is still not an option for me to play LPGA events in the U.S. This is the sole reason I am not playing the CME.”
Without proof of the COVID-19 vaccination, Grant, 23, of Sweden, does not meet U.S. visa requirements as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In June, Grant became the first woman to win on the men’s DP World Tour when she claimed a nine-stroke victory at the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed, which was co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour. She won three other LET events in 2022 and added two titles on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, rising to No. 25 in the Rolex Rankings. She was unable to travel to the U.S. for the three American major championships – Chevron Championship, U.S. Women’s Open and Women’s PGA – because of her unvaccinated status. READ MORE
Tiger Woods played only nine rounds on the PGA Tour this year, but that didn’t prevent him from being the most influential golfer once again. Woods repeated as the winner of the PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program, according to Rory McIlroy, who told the Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson that he and Woods ranked 1-2 in the standings. The tour is expected to release the final results by the end of November. READ MORE
Tiger Woods confirmed via Twitter that he will play in the Hero World Challenge on Dec. 1-4 at Albany Golf Club in The Bahamas. Woods, who will turn 47 on Dec. 30, said that Kevin Kisner and Tommy Fleetwood would join him in completing the 20-man field for the unofficial PGA Tour event, which benefits his TGR Foundation and awards Official World Golf Ranking points. Also, Shane Lowry will replace Will Zalatoris, who pulled out with a back injury. READ MORE
England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Italy’s Francesco Molinari will serve as playing captains in the DP World Tour’s inaugural Hero Cup, to be played Jan. 13-15 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the tour announced. The captains are expected to finalize their 10-man teams in early December, with an eye on Europe’s role as host of the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome. READ MORE
Warner Bros. Discovery told subscribers that it will end its GolfTV streaming platform effective Dec. 12, Golf.com’s James Colgan reported. The content included in the international streaming service will be bundled at Discovery+ or Eurosport for European subscribers. In other international markets, subscribers will be directed to broadcast partners of the PGA Tour and Warner Bros. Discovery. The 12-year, $2 billion rights-fee agreement that was struck in June 2018 remains in force for the PGA Tour. READ MORE
The 2024 Solheim Cup will be played at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia, the LPGA announced. The biennial match pitting the best female professionals from the U.S. against their counterparts from Europe will be held Sept. 12-15. READ MORE
Atthaya Thitikul, a 19-year-old Thai who has won twice on the LPGA this season and risen to No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings, clinched the tour’s rookie of the year award. Thitikul held an insurmountable lead over Hye-Jin Choi, who withdrew from last week’s Pelican Women’s Championship, the penultimate event on the 2022 season. READ MORE
The prize fund has soared by a factor of five, to $5 million, for the Ladies European Tour’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International next year, courtesy of a cash infusion by the sponsoring Saudis, putting the event on a par with the purse at the men’s Saudi International on the Asian Tour, the LET announced. The Saudi Ladies International will be played Feb. 16-19 at Royal Greens in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia. READ MORE
Jessica Korda ended her season before the LPGA’s final two events of 2022, citing a back injury, she announced on Twitter. Korda, 29, a six-time winner on the LPGA who stood 16th in the Rolex Rankings, has not competed since a T18 finish Oct. 15 in the LET’s Aramco Team Series in New York. READ MORE
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and his wife, Julie, have purchased Clearbrook Golf Course in Saugatuck, Michigan, to keep the site from being converted to a housing development, according to The Holland Sentinel newspaper. The course dates to 1926 and lies within a mile of Lake Erie, about 10 miles south of Holland, where Cousins grew up before attending Michigan State. READ MORE
Grant Moir will become the executive director for governance at the R&A, succeeding David Rickman, who will remain as chief of staff with the U.K.-based governing body and also lead development of the staff building that is being constructed at St. Andrews, Scotland. READ MORE
The Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final will return to Spain’s Mallorca island in 2023, Europe’s top developmental tour announced. The top 45 players on the Challenge Tour’s season standings will contend for 20 cards on the DP World Tour when the 2023 finale is played at Club de Golf Alcanada in the Balearic Islands. The tournament dates were not announced. READ MORE
Staff and Wire Reports