LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman is not a popular figure amongst PGA Tour loyalists, perhaps none more so than World Number One Rory McIlroy. The two have a long-standing feud, perhaps because McIlroy is one of the most staunch anti-LIV golfers in the world right now.
Their feud initially began in 2020, when word first got out that Norman was looking to start a new golf league. It wasn't the first time he'd tried it, though. In 1994, he tried to start the World Golf Tour.
McIlroy then stated that he wanted to be on the right side of history like Arnold Palmer was in 1994. Palmer opposed Norman's ideas then, as the top-ranked golfer does now.
According to Golf.com, Norman tried to talk to the star golfer, but he wasn't having any of it:
“He wasn’t happy, and we had a pretty testy back-and-forth and he was very condescending, ‘Maybe one day you’ll understand,’ and all this sh*te."
Most recently, the world's top golfer said at the DP World Tour Championship:
“I think Greg needs to go. I think he just needs to exit stage left."
He went on to add that there wouldn't be any compromise between the two leagues until LIV Golf had an adult in the room, insinuating that Norman was the opposite.
Things weren't always bad between LIV head Norman and Rory McIlroy
Despite the ill feelings now, there hasn't always been a poor relationship between the two. In fact, just recently, McIlroy reached out to his "nemesis".
He had seen a documentary detailing Norman's Masters heartbreak back in 1996. The star golfer suffered something similar in 2011 and the documentary humanized his budding rival.
He reached out with support:
“Greg, I just watched your documentary on ESPN. I thought it was fantastic. It must have been very tough to do that. Hopefully, it reminds everyone of what a great golfer you were.”
Norman had reached out back in 2011 with encouragement when the heartbreak initially occurred and the documentary reminded McIlroy of that. The LIV CEO responded positively, and it felt like the two could finally co-exist. That didn't last, though.
McIlroy was incensed about what Norman said about him after their intimate exchange:
“Then, a couple of weeks later, he does an interview with The Washington Post and says I’ve been “brainwashed by the PGA Tour.I’m like ‘For f***'s sake!’ We’ve had this really nice back-and-forth and he says that about me.”
He went on, detailing his mission to be a thorn in LIV's side:
“I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to make it my business now to be as much of a pain in his a*se as possible. And that’s basically what I’ve done since.”
The world's top golfer also got Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm involved in the fued, too. Norman isn't phased by them, though:
“I pay zero attention to McIlroy and Woods, right? They have their agenda for whatever reason. They’re saying whatever they want to say. It has no bearing or effect on me. I’m going to be with LIV for a long, long period of time.”
This feud is not likely to die down any time soon. It may be a lifetime war between the figureheads of two opposing golf tours.
All quotes are from Golf.com.