Greg Norman, US Congress, reaction, PGA Tour, latest news

Shark week is off to a rough start in Washington DC

LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman — nicknamed “The Great White Shark” for his blonde hair and aggressive style in his playing days — met with members of Congress on Wednesday over the league’s ongoing war with the PGA Tour. To say the proceedings didn’t quite go as planned would be an understatement.

Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee apparently walked out of the Republican Study Committee’s meeting with the Hall of Fame golfer, with Burchett saying that he couldn’t understand the Aussie’s accent, that his presentation was all “basically propaganda” and that the Saudis bankrolling the renegade circuit and “billionaire oil people” shouldn’t be taking up the organization’s time, according to multiple reports.

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Burchett later tweeted, “Weren’t Saudis flying some of those plans on 9-11 and what about their killing of @washingtonpost columnist #JamalKashoggi?”

Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, meanwhile, pressed the 67-year-old on LIV’s ties to Saudi Arabia and foreign agent registration, according to The Hill reporter Emily Brooks.

“Don’t come in here and act like you’re doing some great thing, while you’re pimping a billion dollars of Saudi Arabian money,” Roy told reporters.

Norman is set to speak with members from both sides of the aisle this week — he met with West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin as well, according to Politico. But it seems the two-time British Open champ is finding few allies in Washington.

The PGA Tour has been lobbying against LIV since last year, while a group of players from LIV as well as the organization itself have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the tour.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has also been looking into the Tour’s possible anticompetitive actions since July.

LIV, which is funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, has come under scrutiny for, among other things, being used to “sports wash” that country’s abhorrent human rights record.

Meanwhile, Justin Thomas mocked players from LIV complaining about not getting world ranking points from the LIV tournaments, while Norman, who over three decades ago founded the QBE Shootout — a team event slated for December that will feature a number of PGA Tour players — has stepped aside from that event in the wake of the LIV distractions and controversy.

This story originally appeared on the New York Post.

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