Even Greg Norman’s former allies, team-mates and devotees are turning on the Australian, as the fallout of the Saudi rebel circuit becomes ever more personal.
Wayne Grady, who played with Norman for Australia on several occasions, produced an epic rant on social media, criticising his one-time friend for fronting the Saudis’ bid to overhaul the top of the professional male game.
“From someone who has known Greg for 50 years, Greg is only about Greg,” Grady, 64, posted on Facebook. “He has been trying to take down the tour for 30 years.”
Last week, Norman caused outrage across the globe when answering “we’ve all made mistakes” when questioned about the state-approved murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Norman also said, “I heard about it and moved on” when asked about the 81 men who were executed on the same day in Riyadh in March.
His comments stunned fellow Queenslander Karrie Webb. “Has anyone’s childhood hero disappointed them as much?” the seven-time major winner said. Grady is evidently just as upset by the statements and actions of the “Great White Shark”, who is being paid tens of millions to act as the face of the breakaway circuit.
“The admiration I had for him for what he has achieved and what he did for Australian golf is gone,” Grady, the 1990 US PGA champion, said. “For him to try and trivialise what the greats before him did to grow and create what the PGA Tour is today is an absolute disgrace.
Wayne Grady after winning the US PGA title in 1990Credit:Reuters
“You should hang your head in shame, Shark. I went to the memorial service of Jack Newton [the Australian player] yesterday and was surrounded by true professional golfers who believe in loyalty and history. GFY Shark.”
It should not take too much imagination to work out what “GFY” represents in social-media parlance. Norman’s reputation has come under increased fire since the press conference on Wednesday to promote the $US25 million LIV Golf Invitational opener at the Centurion Club in St Albans.
Telegraph Sport revealed that 10 Englishmen have sought releases from the DP World Tour – formerly the European Tour – to play in Hertfordshire, where the first prize will be $4 million and last place will receive $120,000.
One of these is Sam Horsfield, the 25-year-old from Manchester, who moved back into the world’s top 100 yesterday with his third Tour victory, at the Soudal Open in Antwerp Horsfield collected $330,330.
The Florida-based prodigy of Ian Poulter – who has also sent in his forms for Centurion – had his partner, Isabella, on the bag in the absence of regular caddie Mick Seaborn.
The London Daily Telegraph
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