Veterans Padraig Harrington and Matt Kuchar each shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday to share the early lead with MJ Daffue and Roberto Diaz in the weather-delayed first round of the Valero Texas Open.
R&A shuns LIV boss Norman from Open festivities
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — The R&A announced Saturday that it hasn’t invited two-time Open Championship winner and LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman to the event’s 150th anniversary celebration at St. Andrews next week.
Those celebratory events include the Champions Dinner and the R&A Celebration of Champions competition.
Norman, who won The Open at Turnberry in 1986 and at Royal St. George’s in 1993, is one of 14 multiple winners during the postwar era since 1945.
“We can confirm that we contacted Greg Norman to advise him that we decided not to invite him to attend on this occasion,” the R&A said in a statement. “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.”
The R&A said it hoped that Norman would be able to attend again in the future “when circumstances allow.”
“I’m disappointed. I would have thought the R&A would have stayed above it all given their position in world golf,” Norman told Australian Golf Digest. “[It’s] petty, as all I have done is promote and grow the game of golf globally, on and off the golf course, for more than four decades.”
Norman, 67, has poached several top players from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour for the new LIV Golf Invitational Series, which is being financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Among the players who have jumped to LIV Golf are former major champions Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia.
In May, the R&A denied a request from Norman for a special exemption to play in the 150th Open Championship. He last competed in the event in 2008. The Open Championship allows exemptions for champions aged 60 or under, or for those who have won in the past 10 years.
Defending champion Collin Morikawa, three-time Open winner Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are among the former champions who will participate in the R&A Celebration of Champions. They will compete on four holes on the famous Old Course on Monday.