GOLF'S GREG Norman has slammed the PGA Tour's for refusing to release players for the breakaway LIV Golf Invitational Series funded by Saudi Arabia.
Norman is one of the chief instigators in the new golf format and has received huge backlash for his association with the event.
The first event to take place is the Centurion Club in London from June 9-11,
The likes of Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood have been asked to released for the debut event, but the PGA Tour members were informed on Tuesday that releases will not be granted, leaving them open to sanctions if they do tee it up in St Albans from 9-11 June.
Greg Norman has fired back at the PGA Tour, calling it:
-an "illegal monopoly"
-"anti-golfer, anti-fan, and anti-competitive"
He adds: "we will not be stopped." pic.twitter.com/JMmLKMeQ5D
— Dylan Dethier (@dylan_dethier) May 11, 2022
PGA Tour senior vice president Tyler Dennis in a memo to players saying: "We have notified those who have applied that their request has been declined in accordance with the PGA TOUR Tournament Regulations."
"As such, TOUR members are not authorized to participate in the Saudi Golf League's London event under our Regulations,"
As a membership organization, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the PGA TOUR and its players."
Firing back in his own statement, LIV Golf CEO Norman said the decision from the PGA tour was 'disappointing'
"Sadly, the PGA Tour seems intent on denying professional golfers their right to play golf, unless it's exclusively in a PGA Tour tournament, the statement read
"This is particularly disappointing in light of the Tour's non-profit status, where its mission is purportedly 'to promote the common interests of professional tournament golfers.'
"Instead, the Tour is intent on perpetuating its illegal monopoly of what should be a free and open market. The Tour's action is anti-golfer, anti-fan, and anti-competitive.
"But no matter what obstacles the PGA Tour puts in our way, we will not be stopped. We will continue to give players options that promote the great game of golf globally."
The eight-event series offering a $255 million total prize purse will hold five tournaments in the United States and three internationally, including the curtain raiser in London starting June 9th
Norman also said on Monday he has been given an extra $2billion in funding from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund to build the series of eight events into a full 14-event league by 2024.