Norman suggests pay cuts

2009-02-25 07:07

Brisbane - Greg Norman, nicknamed 'The Great White Shark' when he was leading the world rankings in the 1980s and 90s, thinks golfers need to take a pay cut as the global economic crisis bites.

"Prize money's being scaled back in Europe, I wouldn't be surprised if prize money's scaled back in the U.S. just out of respect to every citizen and taxpayer over there who's suffering dramatically," the two-time British Open champion was quoted as saying on the Australian Broadcasting Corp. website. "It seems like on the PGA Tour the players are still playing for a million dollars first week, like they're recession-proof.

"I think there's got to be a lot of sensitivity shown. If I was PGA Commissioner, that's what I would be recommending."

The average PGA Tour purse in 2008 was $5.8 million.

Norman, 54, spent more than six years at No. 1 in the world golf rankings and built a multimillion dollar business empire that still has him ranked among Australia's highest-earning athletes.

He plays infrequently on the big tours now, but hit the headlines last year when he led the British Open by two strokes going into the last round before finishing in a tie for third. He's planning another shot at the U.S. Masters this year at Augusta, scene of his biggest meltdown - he held a six-stroke lead going into the final round in 1996 but lost to Nick Faldo.

Norman, who was in Australia to play the Johnnie Walker Classic last weekend in Perth, also said golf's international administrators should limit the impact of technology to save time and money rather than lengthen courses to accommodate for players hitting the ball further with increasingly advanced clubs.

"I think the powers that be could have done a better job of managing the technology breakthroughs that took place over a period of time and implemented different rules for us, the professionals, and not having to spend millions upon millions of dollars to change golf courses for four rounds," he said.


  • Peter - 2009-02-25 09:35

    He would never have made this suggestion when he was in his prime. Stuff you Greg Norman, you've had your day now let the rest of the pro's have theirs.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-25 10:51

    Thats pretty "rich" coming from Greg Norman. Some 10 plus years ago he demanded a $100,000.00 appearance fee to play in one of our local tournaments. He missed the cut and was on his plane that same day. No hanging about to give interviews or to mingle with the sponsors. It was pure and simple Hit and Run.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-02-25 10:54

    Peter, what a stupid comment, Norman never played during a recession of this sort, and as he points out, European players are already doing it.

  • Johan - 2009-02-25 11:44

    I agree in principle with Greg. The man on the street is suffering a great deal in the US, but I think it's a decision that the sponsors have to make. If a sponsor has to cut back on jobs and still pays millions on sponsorships it could send a distorded message to the suffering public. Sponsorships are advertising and neccessary - the level of expenditure should however be responsibly managed. Should sponsorships be down-scaled (a number of sponsers have in fact withdrew from this year's USPGA), the golfers must take it in their stride, which I'm sure they will

  • SteveD - 2009-02-25 12:12

    Ja GN is being selfrighteous. Did'nt see him return earnings in '92 - global bond crisis, '94 - Russian default crisis, '97 - Asian Crisis, '01 - 9/11.........what makes this credit crisis SO special for him???

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