Greg Norman Confirms Hideki Matsuyama Was LIV Golf Target

LIV Golf’s player roster has continued to strengthen since the Saudi-backed circuit’s inception in 2022, with the tour signing Major winners like Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Smith and Phil Mickelson.

However, one signing the 54-hole league hasn’t been able to get over the line is Hideki Matsuyama.

The 2021 Masters champion was reportedly weighing up an offer of around $400m in 2022, with his reported sum the largest of any LIV Golf player due to his fame and popularity in Japan and Asia – as the continent’s most successful active player.

Reports even stated that he was “torn between the money and his legacy” during the time, and LIV Golf’s CEO Greg Norman has now confirmed that Matsuyama was one of his key targets, and that he messaged him congratulations after his win at the Genesis Invitational earlier in the month.

Speaking to Australian Golf Digest, the two-time Major winner said: “We’ve been trying to get Hideki Matsuyama. I don’t mind admitting that. When Hideki won in LA, what’s the first thing I did? I said, “Congratulations, Hideki. I’m proud of you, mate.”

greg norman confirms hideki matsuyama was liv golf target

Matsuyama shot a record 62 at Riviera to win his ninth PGA Tour title at the Genesis Invitational (Image credit: Getty Images)

Matsuyama banked $4m for his Genesis Invitational win to take his PGA Tour career earnings over $48m. The 32-year-old returned to the world’s top 20 after a difficult 2023 where he struggled with back problems.

While he may have missed out on the huge LIV Golf money, he was able to overtake KJ Choi as the Asian with the most PGA Tour victories.

“Reaching nine wins was one of my big goals, passing KJ Choi,” he said.

“After my eighth win I’ve been struggling with my back injury. There were a lot of times where I felt, you know, I was never going to win again. I struggled reaching to top-10, but I’m really happy that I was able to win today.”

In the interview with Australian Golf Digest, Norman also revealed he messaged Rory McIlroy after his 2011 Masters collapse and would message him congratulations if he were to win the Green Jacket. And on reports that Anthony Kim is set to join LIV, the Australian simply said: “Stay tuned, mate. Stay tuned.”

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