Greg Norman: LIV Golf is no longer willing to negotiate with the PGA Tour

Open champion Cameron Smith recently switched to LIV Golf

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman has accused rival PGA Tour of trying to “destroy” his series.

Norman said the Saudi-sponsored series was designed to live alongside existing golf tours, and has made several attempts to negotiate with the PGA.

However, the 67-year-old Australian has said that all his approaches have been rejected.

He told The Australian newspaper: “This idea that we are trying to destroy the Tour is not true. The PGA Tour is trying to destroy us, it’s as simple as that.

“The PGA Tour has not sat down and had a conversation with me or any of my investors.

“We tried really hard, I know I personally did last year. When we found out we weren’t going to hear from them, we decided to go.

“We have no interest in sitting down with them, to be honest, because our product is working.”

The lucrative series offers purses of $25m (£21.7m) for the 54-hole tournament and has attracted a host of big names including Open champion and world number two Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.

The PGA Tour has suspended all of them from participating in the Rebel Series. The Europe-based DP World Tour is engaged in a legal battle to see if they can similarly suspend members who have switched to the LIV series.

DP World Tour boss Keith Pelley criticized LIV last week and defended his tour, which is partnering with the PGA Tour. LIV’s ‘existential threat’ to sport.

“The Arabs remain determined to set up a new series outside of the current ecosystem. That decision has created the conflict we see today and we have chosen to meet the main twist in the game.” Pelley explained earlier this month.

Norman, however, said LIV Golf was not a “disruptive” series, insisting it was “always built around inclusiveness.”

LIV has also been charged with having the vehicle “sports washing” Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

Protesters gathered at a recent event in Boston, but when asked about their presence – and the criticism – Norman said: “I don’t pay attention to it, to be honest with you.

“All I’m telling you is that I’m here in the game of golf. I’m focused on building the best league we can.”