Greg Norman lunged at the John Deere. This is what he *forgot* to tell you.


Greg Norman on Saturday during the LIV Golf event at Pumpkin Ridge.

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Greg Norman wanted to share some “interesting facts” with you. His tournament this week in Portland, LIV Golf CEO wrote on Twitter earlier this week, had 21 players from the top 100 in the world. And 17 of the last 50 major winners. And 10 of the last 24 big winners. And the competition had less. This is where we’ll note that he probably didn’t check the data on his course, the John Deere Classic course on the PGA Tour and the Irish Open on the DP World Tour, but you never know. Let’s continue.

Anyway, one of Norman’s newer employees summed it all up pretty quickly.

“And how many big winners do you have here compared to John Deere?” Pat Perez said. “It’s not even close. The Tour wants to keep talking about field strength and all that kind of stuff; the force of the field is here. So whether everyone wants to talk about it or not, that’s what it is.

“The facts are the facts”.

The facts are the facts. Marker. You can’t argue with the truth, and we can handle the truth. But facts, you see, can be selective. They can shape a story. And Norman and his friends have conveniently forgotten to tell you everything.

This was the week, wasn’t it, in this PGA Tour-Euro Tour v. liv battle royale? Not only was the establishment facing the upstart directly on American soil for the first time, it was doing so with one of its weakest statistically ranked fields in the JDC, as Norman wrote and Perez bragged. If the golf news about him has felt intensified in recent days, more urgent, here’s why. Golf fireworks, yes, the 4th of July weekend.

And my friend texted me.

He often does this on weekends when there is golf. Enjoy a cup in the morning with the play on the other side of the pond playing in the background in the afternoon. But this wasn’t about who I appreciated this week in Illinois, Ireland or Oregon. (Those texts were earlier).

“A big reason I like seeing these guys play for John Deere this week is because a win for them changes their career! Two-year exemption, large amount of cash, admission to master’s degrees, etc.

“Seeing a guy who has to keep (or take) the lead in the final round is very dramatic.”

Bryson DeChambeau in Pumpkin Ridge.

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I replied that he had trained enough. Seriously, the John Deere?

“It’s true! Making a birdie or par on 18 or whatever to win is HUGE. Difference between exhibition and real competition.”

The facts are the facts.

And here they are. Yes, the winner of the Deere gets the two-year Tour exemption. And the money; $1.28 million And the Masters berth. A place in the PGA Championship and another in the Open Championship in two weeks as well. And since the weaker field implies, each player could use each of those benefits. For some, there’s a good chance they won’t play golf on their TV or my friend’s TV this time next year without them; only leader JT Poston has won in the last three years. Drama? Only if you like the kind that changes lives.

Which brings us to the scene in Oregon. I’ve written in this space before that I see potential in the team aspect of LIV, and you could see it on Saturday. Players who would normally be out weren’t, fighting over their Fireballs or Stingers or Fire Stingers or whatever. There was money, lots of money at stake, and Branden Grace, the winner, won more. And you might like it, and the TV cameras were doing a good job of showing that a lot of people were in Portland.

But done is, there’s that word again, at 48 they’ll still get paid, and in most cases they’ll get paid well; remember, there is no cut, and the bags are ridiculous. Or, more accurately, they will be paid more. Remember, the stars signed for large sums for hitting any shot. Dan Rapaport captured this theme well in an excellent article for Golf Digest, where he wrote that he complimented a player on a shot on the course, only for the player to reply, “Yes, he will.

“But who the hell cares if it isn’t?”

OK so.

classic john deere signage

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melton zephyr

Funny, yes, but not exactly something you’d wear in a commercial. Although this could be. Zach Johnson’s view below is heavily tainted. He’s pro-Tour, pro-John Deere, pro-started at the bottom now that he’s here. (Sorry, Drake.) He, too, was once a Nameless One. And he took advantage of the Deere so that it became a domestic one. But if he’s looking for someone to tell him that even one of the Tour’s lesser-known events can hang with LIV, he’s the guy for him.

“These kids are very, very good,” Johnson said Saturday. “I don’t know how else to explain it. I know we’re not at the top of any world index or ranking or whatever, but the guys here are very, very good and they’re hungry.

“So the quality of golf is going to be spectacular. Again, I can’t stress it enough, the guys that you see here that win will be, will become the next whoever. That’s what we have here.

“I think that’s it, we have it every week. That is the difficulty. Is awesome. That’s why the PGA Tour is the best.”

We will end this honestly. And on good note. Let’s go back to facts one last time.

You or my friend don’t have to choose Sunday.

John Deere plays 72 holes and has one more round. LIV, as the Roman numerals tell you, play 54 and finish the week.

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Publisher

Nick Piastowski is a senior editor for and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories throughout 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 and right and short, and drinking a cold beer to clear the score. the. You can contact him about any of these topics (his stories of his, his game, or his beers) at [email protected]