The battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf continues, and the same can be said for Greg Norman and Brandel Chamblee.
Chamblee, Golf Channel’s lead analyst, has long been one of the most vocal critics of the new Saudi-backed league that continues to snatch players away from the PGA Tour and disrupt the pro game. Norman, the CEO of LIV Golf, has also been one of Chamblee’s primary targets.
Last month, Chamblee said Norman and Phil Mickelson, one of the most prominent players to sign on for the league, should both be removed from the World Golf Hall of Fame. In an interview with The Palm Beach Post published last week, Norman was asked for his reaction to Chamblee’s comments.
“I find it laughable,” Norman said. “Has Brandel Chamblee ever been to Saudi Arabia? Has he ever built a golf course in a third world country? He’s a paid talking bobblehead. That’s all he is. He’s got my phone number. He’s never picked up a phone and asked me a question. Sadly, you’re making yourself look like a jerk. It’s like water off a duck’s back to me.”
On Tuesday, the Twitter handle @LIVGolfUpdates shared the above excerpt from the story, which Chamblee quote tweeted on Wednesday with a screenshot of a text message exchange he apparently had had with Greg Norman.
There’s no date on the messages and a couple of them were censored by Chamblee, but one message Chamblee received said, “Keep being you and call it the way you see. Refreshing.”
Chamblee’s text above the screenshot said: “Greg Norman *to* Brandel Chamblee before I knew he was being paid by the murderous Saudi regime to sportswash. Funny how when I ‘call it like I see it’ about LIV, it’s not so refreshing to Greg.”
This all comes amid a busy news day for the sport, as it was announced on Wednesday that Ryder Cup Europe stripped Henrik Stenson of his captaincy for the 2023 event in Rome. Stenson, the five-time Ryder Cupper, is among the most recent batch of players to go to LIV Golf.
“In light of decisions made by Henrik in relation to his personal circumstances, it has become clear that he will not be able to fulfill certain contractual obligations to Ryder Cup Europe that he had committed to prior to his announcement as captain on Tuesday March 15, 2022, and it is therefore not possible for him to continue in the role of captain,” the statement read.
Later on Wednesday, Stenson released his own lengthy statement, saying, among other things, “I have huge respect and admiration for the Ryder Cup and those individuals behind it who I know are doing their utmost to act in the best interests of the historic event. I want to thank everyone I have worked with to date to prepare for Rome 2023. I am hugely disappointed to not be allowed to continue in my role but wish you all the best in your ongoing preparations.”