Golf-LIV open-minded about moving to 72-hole format, Norman says

By Thomson Reuters Apr 24, 2024 | 2:07 AM

(Reuters) – LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said he is open-minded about the idea of moving to a traditional 72-hole format, though he added that the Saudi-backed circuit would need to evaluate the impact of adding an extra round to its 54-hole, no-cut events.

Former Masters and U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm, who switched to the rebel circuit in December, has said he hoped LIV would move to a 72-hole format as it would help unite the tours.

Norman said at a press conference on Wednesday ahead of LIV’s event in Adelaide that they were open to the idea of changing the format but added that there was an “economic impact about putting television on for 72 holes”.

“It’s a great conversation to have,” he added. “We will continue to have that conversation going forward. But we sit back and say, what value do we get on putting on television on Thursday. How do we build out in the future?

“There are things that we sit back and look at to see what is the most optimal solution to make this a better and better and better event, and 72 holes is discussed.”

Norman also dismissed a report that was published earlier this month saying LIV had made an $850 million offer to Rory McIlroy, saying: “This is just typical white noise that gets out there in the industry.”

Rahm, speaking alongside Norman at the press conference, said there was a “level of comfort” in playing 72 holes but that any decision to change the format had to make business sense.

“At the end of the day, LIV is a business,” he added.

“If it doesn’t fit the product, it doesn’t fit the product.

“I’m just a player. There’s a lot of people that are a lot smarter than me that can figure it out and explain why they believe 54 holes may be better for them.”

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru)