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The R&A announced Saturday that it did not invite two-time Open Championship winner Greg Norman to the 2022 Open Championship festivities in St. Andrews, Scotland.
According to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, the R&A released the following statement:
“We can confirm that we contacted Greg Norman to advise him that we decided not to invite him to attend on this occasion. The 150th Open is an extremely important milestone for golf and we want to ensure that the focus remains on celebrating the Championship and its heritage. Unfortunately, we do not believe that would be the case if Greg were to attend.”
Norman is the CEO of the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf, which has swiped several big names from the PGA Tour, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed.
Clearly frustrated by LIV Golf’s infringement, the PGA Tour has come down hard on golfers who defected, suspending them and banning them from events.
Those players have still been permitted to play in majors, which don’t fall under the tour umbrella, and several of them will be in the Open Championship field.
Norman, who won the Open Championship in 1986 and 1993, will miss out on the champions dinner and R&A Celebration of Champions competition next week.
While he has not commented on the snub, the R&A stated it would like for him to attend the Open Championship in the future “when circumstances allow.”
Two months ago, Norman was denied a special exemption to play in the event. Past champions age 60 or younger and those who have won in the last 10 years can play in the tournament, but Norman is 67.
With Norman at the helm, LIV Golf has provided a unique alternative for golfers.
For starters, it has given players huge signing bonuses to join and offered much bigger tournament purses than the PGA Tour, including payouts for team performance in addition to individual performance.
Also, there are far fewer tournaments, and the tournaments last three rounds—or 54 holes, which resulted in the name “LIV,” the Roman numerals for 54—rather than the traditional four.
The PGA Tour has lost a lot of talent to LIV Golf, though many top golfers such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas have pledged to remain with the tour.