Greg Norman has doubled-down on his commitment to LIV Golf on the eve of its Australian debut, telling a packed media conference “we are not going anywhere. LIV is here for a long, long period of time”.

Norman’s position as chief executive officer has been constantly under scrutiny by media outlets  who are sceptical of LIV Golf’s financial and moral viability given the league is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

“We have a product that fans wants. We have a product the state government of South Australia wants. We have a product the corporations and television want,” Norman said.

Norman reiterated he had tried to work with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour in the golf landscape. His attempts have been met with resistance, reprisals and litigation.

“They’ve made their decision. We’ve made our decision to showcase to the world the product that we truly have the business model that really works. And I hope everybody here really unpacks that business model, which is the franchise model.”

However, the two-time Major champion wouldn’t be drawn into whether LIV Golf is looking to expand its league series into Queensland next year. 

“Our next 72 hours will show Australia and the world what the product is. That’s our focus today.”

Norman revealed significant interest from new investors because of the impact by the South Australia Premier and tourism department.

“My phone is ringing off the hook. But it’s not just Australia, it’s the rest of the world, as well, too.”

Norman played a straight bat to questioning from a ABC reporter about whether he ever had a conversation with Mohammed bin Salman or any of the senior leadership of the Public Investment Fund about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

“No, I have not,” Norman replied. “Because I’m the chairman and CEO of LIV Golf Investments, and that’s where I focus. I focus on golf. I stay focused on golf.

“I’ve been involved with golf, as a player as well as golf course design. I’ve built some golf courses in third-world countries. I’ve built golf courses in communist countries. Golf is a force for good. It goes everywhere with the right platform because it delivers the right message, from education to hospitality to employment to tourism.

South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas defended his government’s decision to spend millions of dollars on LIV Golf Adelaide despite allegations of sports washing by the Saudi Arabia regime. He pointed out the hypocrisy of mainstream media.

“Just pre-COVID, before borders shuts down, South Australia welcomed with open arms the Saudi Arabia defence minister right here in Adelaide at the Land Forces conference without so much as a question from media outlets.

“We sell extraordinary amounts of barley, beef, lamb, amongst other things to Saudi Arabia. It’s a $3 billion trading partnership between Australia and Saudi Arabia. They are $4 billion worth of active investments in Australia alone.”