LIV Golf commissioner and CEO Greg Norman stopped short of calling the wildly successful LIV Golf Adelaide 2024 “vindication”.

After 16 months of being subjected to vile abuse on social media and watching mainstream media outlets trying to discredit his work as the leader of the Saudi-backed league, Norman took a more humble and forgiving approach in the aftermath of Ripper GC’s dramatic team playoff victory in Adelaide.

“Vindication is not the right word,” Norman told Australian Golf Digest before pausing.

“It’s the ignorance of others who simply didn’t understand what we were trying to do. I actually feel sorry for them because they now see the true value of LIV Golf and want to be a part of it.”

Norman was quick to pay tribute to the Australian faithful for their unconditional support of not only LIV Golf Adelaide but his own playing career. An estimated 35,000 spectators packed Grange Golf Club on Sunday, the majority sticking around to line the 18th fairway and cheer on Cam Smith and Marc Leishman in their dramatic two-hole playoff victory against South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Dean Burmester.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 28: LIV golf boss Greg Norman (Right) congratulates Cam Smith and Marc Leishman and of Ripper GC (Right) during LIV Adelaide at The Grange Golf Club on April 28, 2024 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

“The support Australia gave me during my own playing career for decades was something I have never forgotten,” says Norman, bursting with pride. “It’s why I brought LIV Golf back home – I did it for them. The people have well and truly spoken. Both individual and team golf is alive and well in Australia and they deserve it. I knew they would support this event.

“I’m feeling extremely proud right now. With what we’ve (LIV Golf) gone through over the past 16 months, both as a league and what I’ve copped personally… the hatred… this makes it all worthwhile.”

While Ripper GC are likely to party on into the early hours of Monday, Norman said his celebrations will be cut short. The World Golf Hall of Famer is due to jet off to the Phillipines early this week for further global expansion talks for the league. Among the countries in his sights will be South Africa, not surprising given the performance of the all-South African Stinger team in Adelaide.

“You sensed when they missed their opportunities on that first playoff hole that perhaps their fate was sealed there and then but I thought they were so gracious in defeat,” Norman said. “They are exceptional players and exceptional people who all believe in what LIV Golf is all about. I’m hopeful their time will come to return the favour on home soil.”