LIV Golf’s Greg Norman openly reveals a major winner ‘we’ve been trying to get’

Greg Norman

Greg Norman earlier this month at LIV Golf's event in Las Vegas.

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Greg Norman and LIV Golf are apparently not done recruiting players. 

Or Masters winners. 

In a story written by Australian Golf Digest’s Brad Clifton and published Monday, Norman himself even revealed whom they are flirting with. 

“We’ve been trying to get Hideki Matsuyama,” the commissioner of the Saudi-backed series told Clifton. 

“I don’t mind admitting that.”

The interest has been there for a while. 

According to the New York Post, Matsuyama had turned down a nine-figure deal to join the league in August of 2022, after the PGA Tour’s Tour Championship. At that time, six other pros — Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Harold Varner III, Marc Leishman, Anirban Lahiri and Cameron Tringale — had left the PGA Tour for LIV, then in its first season.

About a month later, at the Presidents Cup, Matsuyama admitted to that he had been approached by LIV. Through a translator, Matsuyama gave a six-word answer to explain why he was sticking with the PGA Tour. 

“Simply this is where I belong,” he said. 

In the same interview, a reporter also asked Matsuyama if he would be interested in playing a PGA Tour-LIV Golf team event, should one ever come together. His answer again was short. 

“I can’t decide something like that because there’s nothing specific about it,” he said through the translator.

But apparently, the conversations have not stopped, though there had been a pause between LIV and the PGA Tour poaching each other’s players following a proposed funding deal between the Tour and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, which funds LIV. That proposal, announced last June, continues to be negotiated, but a non-solicitation clause from the agreement has since been removed.

Hideki Matsuyama
Hideki Matsuyama admits to talks with LIV but is staying with PGA Tour
By: Nick Piastowski

Since then, additional Tour players have joined LIV, most notably Jon Rahm, last year’s Masters champion who last December joined six other green jacket winners with the league (Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel).  

Notably, Rahm, too, had also once pledged to the Tour. But in an interview with GOLFs Dylan Dethier earlier this year, Rahm said LIV’s money offer — which, like Matsuyama’s offer, was reportedly nine figures — was a large factor, as was his Masters victory and his win at the 2021 U.S. Open. An Augusta victory means you are invited back for life, and Rahm is exempt into the U.S. Open through at least 2031.

Another factor? The shifting dynamics in golf.

“What opened the door a little bit was that PGA Tour and LIV agreement,” Rahm said. “So when that happened, I was like, well, we are definitely coming together. There is something happening, so at least I owe it to myself to hear what they have to offer and what their vision is. I figured I owed it to myself to hear them out, which is what I did when the season was over.”

Matsuyama, meanwhile, won two weeks ago, at the Genesis Invitational, shooting a nine-under 62 in the final round to win by three. Afterward apparently, he got a note of congratulations. 

From Norman. 

“When Hideki won [the Genesis Invitational] in L.A., what’s the first thing I did?” Norman told Australian Golf Digest’s Clifton. 

“I said, ‘Congratulations, Hideki. I’m proud of you, mate.’”

Editor’s note: To read the complete Golf Digest story — which also includes Norman’s thoughts on Rory McIlroy — please click here

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at