LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman has opened the door to peace talks with the PGA Tour on the eve of the upstart circuit’s event in Adelaide this week.
More than a year of fighting over access to the game’s top male players appeared to have left relations between the two tours in irreparable condition.
Norman remains characteristically bullish about the future of LIV Golf, which has evolved into a fully-fledged league in its second season.
But in a series of media appearances to mark the first LIV event in his native Australia, the former world No1 has appeared to be in conciliatory mood.
“Somebody came in and offered competition to the PGA Tour, they didn’t like it,” Normal told Australian news wire NCA.
“But it’s not going to stay this way forever, because we’re not going anywhere. So somewhere down the line in some way, shape or form, the two parties have got to come to the table.”
In a separate interview, he told the Telegraph: “Yeah, maybe we should sit down and talk. It’s going to happen somehow and somewhere down the line. And why shouldn’t it be sooner rather than later? They must realise by now that we aren’t going away.”
It marks a shift in tone from a man who accused the PGA Tour of “deafening hypocrisy” earlier this year and ruled out any negotiations with the sport’s main circuit in September.
LIV Golf suffered a blow to its tussle with golf’s legacy tours when it lost a UK legal challenge against sanctions levied on players who took part in their events in defiance of the European-based DP World Tour.
But the performance of two of the circuit’s biggest signings, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson, at the Masters this month boosted LIV’s claims to be recognised by the Official World Golf Rankings.
And the tour’s first visit to Australia, also home to LIV star and Open champion Cameron Smith, has proven a smash hit with spectators.
More than 70,000 tickets have been sold for the $25m tournament, which starts on Friday, prompting organisers to open Thursday’s pro-am to the public for the first time.
“My homeland has been starved of top-class golf. We might have two LIV events in Australia next year. Who knows,” Norman added.
“But we are already aware that there has been that much interest that Adelaide will be the gauge for our events going forward.”