8 strange LIV Golf highlights – including Greg Norman fuelling fans with booze

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One of sport’s biggest sagas in 2022 has undoubtedly been the formation of the controversial LIV Golf Series. The Saudi-backed breakaway circuit has sent shockwaves across the sport, in an attempt to lure some of the biggest names in the game with mega-money signing on fees and prize money.

Ran by former world No. 1 Greg Norman, the series has looked to create a new wave of professional golf, with his new circuit made up of eight no-cut, shotgun events consisting of 48 players who competed for both an individual and team prize. It is not just the format that has raised eyebrows, with all sorts of bizarreness playing out across the opening two events.

From Norman drowning fans in beer, to team winners celebrating their win with a private jet party, here are eight of the most bizarre LIV Golf moments so far.

READ MORE: Fans think Justin Rose could be 'taking dig' at LIV Golf rebels with T-shirt choice

Black cab player transport

First up we take it back to the series’ inaugural event at Centurion. It seemed LIV bosses were keen to push the idea that their opening event was taking part in London, despite the course actually being in the city of St Albans, Hertfordshire. Anyway to push their London look, tournament organisers provided LIV-branded London black cabs to whisk the players around the complex.

They hopped in the peculiar taxi service to be dropped off at their designated tee, with the tournament opting for a shotgun start. To fit with the capital theme, players beginning their round on the first tee were greeted by a brass band dressed as faux Grenadier Guards.

Alcohol monitors

Despite the controversies, fans have still flocked to both Centurion and Portland to get an early taste of the LIV experience, and like most sporting experiences the crowds can enjoy a beer or two when out watching the action. To make sure boozy fans kept in line though, organisers at the most recent event stateside implemented ‘alcohol monitors’ in and around spectator areas.

The monitors were put into place to abide by ‘Oregon Liquor Control Commission’ protocols, with the security team a necessity at such events in the state.

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Greg Norman fuels fans with alcohol

The monitors were clearly out of action at the 18th green during Saturday’s final round though, as LIV boss Norman was seen pouring beer into the mouths of the crowd below from the balcony of a hospitality tent. The Australian was then seen tossing cans of beer into the cheering crowd below him, and Norman himself uploaded the clip on Twitter.

Seemingly pushing his brand to create a new wave in professional golf away from the traditions the former world No. 1 captioned the video: “The fans have spoken. Make golf fun again #LIVGolf #BeerMeGreg.”

Jessie J performs at Centurion

Back to Centurion now, and sticking with entertainment, event organisers put on three days of live music following the end of each round at the course. The likes of Craig David, James Bay and Mel C were all in the lineup but the one name that had many golf fans chuckling was that of Jessie J.

The British pop star is of course best known for her hit single ‘Price Tag’, but many were quick to notice a sense of irony surrounding her selection with the circuit known for luring players in with its Saudi-funded, mega-money riches.

Phil Mickelson’s biographer booted from press conference

The man central to the LIV Golf saga has been Phil Mickelson, with his comments surrounding the series and its Saudi links causing uproar earlier this year. The man who published these comments was Mickelson’s biographer, golf journalist Alan Shipnuck.

Like Many of the world’s top golf reporters, Shipnuck appeared at the series’ opening event in London, but was given a frosty reception, after being banned from entering Lefty's post-round press conference. Shipnuck himself then exposed Norman on social media, who told the reporter he ‘didn’t hear’ about his removal, despite the LIV boss being pictured behind Shipnuck when he was being booted out by security.

Winners’ private jet party

It is no secret that the prize money for each LIV event is eye-watering, with a combined £20.7 million ($25 million) on offer for both individual and team prizes. In Portland it was the all-American ‘4 Aces’ team that claimed victory in the team event, with Dustin Johnson, Pat Perez, Talor Gooch and Patrick Reed splitting the riches.

In celebration the four former PGA Tour stars looked to celebrate in style, as they were seen enjoying themselves on board a swanky private jet. As is the bizarreness of the LIV Golf setup, Perez – who finished eight-over-par in 34th – was seen bellowing ‘we are the champions’ from the top of his voice as he enjoyed his team’s fortune whilst up in the sky.

Poulter and Westwood quizzed on Putin

Throughout the saga surrounding the breakaway circuit, LIV Golf players have been quite rightly questioned about the morality of the event due to the funding from Saudi Arabia. In particular, English stars Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter were left squirming following one reporter questioning their morality to compete.

At Centurion last month, Poulter and Westwood were questioned by Mirror Sport’s Neil McLeman on whether they would play an event funded by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, or in apartheid South Africa. Both were left completely stumped, with Poulter responding that he ‘doesn’t need to answer’ and Westwood adding that he ‘can’t answer a hypothetical.

Former White House official appointed

Sticking with press conferences, the man who was in charge of manning the discussion was former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. There had been many big name appointments made by the circuit ahead of its inaugural event, but none were as bizarre as Fleischer.

The American was no stranger to press conference controversies, having been in the role at the White House between 2001 and 2003 when President George W. Bush was serving.


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