St. Andrews Events Leave Greg Norman Out

Head of new LIV Golf calls decision to disinvite him 'petty'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2022 10:58 AM CDT
Greg Norman Calls St. Andrews Snub 'Petty'
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, right, congratulates Branden Grace, winner of the Portland Invitational LIV Golf tournament in Oregon, on July 2.   (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

The British Open begins celebrating its 150th anniversary Monday, with past champions playing four holes at St. Andrews to commemorate the first tournament. Tiger Woods will be there, USA Today reports, as will Lee Trevino, who won the 1971 and '72 events. That group would seem to include Greg Norman, a two-time champion. But it doesn't. "The R&A sent me a letter asking me not to attend," Norman told Australian Golf Digest on Saturday. He's not invited to the dinner, either. Norman is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, but he's also head of the Saudi-funded rival golf league, LIV Golf. He objects to being left out.

The R&A confirmed the decision, saying it wants "to ensure that the focus remains on celebrating the Championship and its heritage." The statement added that the organization hopes Norman can return in the future under different circumstances. Norman said he's disappointed. "I would have thought the R&A would have stayed above it all given their position in world golf," he said, calling the decision "petty" and adding, "All I have done is promote and grow the game of golf globally, on and off the golf course, for more than four decades."

The R&A, which decides golf's rules in places other than the US and Mexico, also had turned down Norman's request for an exemption that would let him play in this year's British Open without having to qualify. Players invited for the Celebration of Champions include women who won majors, male and female amateurs, and winners with disabilities. "We are deliberately inviting a field that represents the past, present and future of this game we all love," the group said in a statement, "and reflects our purpose to ensure that golf is seen as welcoming, accessible and can be played by anyone who wants to." (More Greg Norman stories.)

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