Greg Norman: Adelaide will host first Australian LIV Golf event in 2023

The addition of Cameron Smith to LIV Golf helped “accelerate” acceptance of the new league according to chief executive Greg Norman, who confirmed he was bringing the breakaway tour to Adelaide in 2023.

Norman’s Saudi-backed group has made a multi-year commitment to bring events to Australia after confirming the first tournament for April 21-23 at The Grange Golf Club, the site of Norman’s first professional victory in 1976, with LIV’s star-studded line-up including British Open champion Smith set to play.

Having declared it was a “priority” to bring at least one event on his $600m tour to Australia, Norman heaped praise on the effect luring Smith to join the league had already had.

“I think it‘s always been a solid priority of mine to get LIV down here to Australia. I’ve always been a staunch proponent myself personally as a player to promote the game of golf in Australia,” Norman said in Adelaide on Monday.

“I did it for decades and decades, so I made the journey down here, and I knew how the Australian market was basically devoid of quality players to the magnitude of what LIV has on its books, and I knew LIV and the Australian public would just absolutely embrace our platform.

“I‘m just so proud I could do it and in such a short time period.

“But I couldn‘t have done it quite honestly without having someone like Cam Smith willing to commit to team Aussie. So for him coming on-board and to see the way he has 120 per cent embraced LIV and the LIV family concept has helped accelerate it all.”

The tournament, which will be part of the 14-event LIV season, will deliver one of the strongest international fields in Australia in many years, with starters including major winners Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed and Louis Oosthuizen.

Norman said Australia “has been starved” of big-time golf for too long.

“Yes, the Presidents Cup has been here, the World Cup has been here, but for consistency year in and year out, what LIV can do through the South Australian government, through coming down here with a multi-year commitment that we‘ve given to Australia and going into the future is something that’s important, no different than what it is in any other country, any other region around the world,” he said.

Norman wouldn’t be drawn on whether he was pursuing Masters champ Adam Scott to join LIV Golf and Smith’s all-Australian team for next year’s event.

“I think that‘s more of a Cam Smith decision, right? Cam has got to build out his franchise. Cam is responsible for his franchise along with Marc Leishman. They’ve got to look what’s best for them going forward,” he said.

“We have a list of Australian players that we’ve got the opportunity of looking at, and quite honestly, again, it’s something that Cam has got to come to us and talk to us about it because as our business model is structured going into next year, the principal players or their franchises have the responsibility of building out their teams and everybody around it.”

Final rosters for the LIV Golf League will be announced next year when 12 established team franchises will compete in a global 14-event schedule for unprecedented prize purses.

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