Greg Norman claims that the Saudi-backed breakaway tour has secured major golfers

Golfer Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood is rumored to have signed up for LIV Golf’s new circuit (Photo: Getty)

The spearhead of the golf’s new breakaway tour Greg Norman says the Saudi-backed circuit is ready to announce the signings of big name players despite many stars rejecting his progress.

Norman, 67, leads the LIV Invitational Series, which has plans to host eight new multi-million dollar tournaments this year to compete with the PGA and DP World Tours.

But even with big rewards on offer, many golfers like Rory McIlroy have decided not to join the new league, citing moral reasons.

Still talking to The Telegraph, Norman claims to have a host of other well-known players already signed up despite being rejected by McIlroy.

He said: ‘We have respected the Masters and let it go, but now our journey is finally becoming fruitful – for the players not for me.

‘Their rightful place to have what they want. That’s why they’re still very, very, very interested. We have players signed up, unlike the white noise you hear out there. ‘

According to reports, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and double Masters champion Bubba Watson are among those to be revealed as LIV Golf’s new recruits.

Greg Norman

Norman leads the new breakaway golf tour (Image: Getty)

Earlier this year, other high-profile golfers like Phil Mickelson were ready to take part in Norman’s new $ 225 million tour.

But after the publication of a controversial conversation with golf writer Alan Shipnuck, in which the 51-year-old described the Saudis as ‘dangerous mates’ because of their human rights record, Mickelson withdrew, as did Bryson De Chambeau and Dustin. Johnson.

LIV Golf’s opening event will be held at the Centurion Club in St. Albans in June – a week before the US Open – where a 28-man field will compete for a purse of $ 25 million, with both individual and team rewards.

Norman believes the huge prize pools that will be available at the Centurion Club, and elsewhere on his tour, will entice more players to join over time.

He added: ‘Honestly, it does not matter who plays, we are going to host the event.

‘There is a first prize of $ 4 million. I hope a child who is number 350 in the world wins. It will change his life, his family’s life.

‘And then a couple of our events will go by and the top players will see someone win $ 6 million, $ 8 million, and say,’ Enough is enough, I know I can beat these guys week by week with my hands tied behind my back”.

‘The level of interest we have had, yes, I had a player who has won a couple of major championships, sitting in my office here 48 hours ago.’

The PGA Tour has warned that any player participating in a breakaway tour will be excluded from their events for life.

MORE: ‘It’s not okay’ – Gary Player defends Phil Mickelson amid Saudi criticism

MORE: Phil Mickelson regrets ‘ruthless’ Saudi Arabia’s comments and hints about break from golf

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