Greg Norman ‘not on list’ for Open as LIV Golf boss told buy own ticket

April 30, 2024

LIV Golf boss Greg Norman continues to find himself on the periphery of the traditional establishment with R&A confirming he had not been invited to The Open Championship

LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman has been brutally told he will need to buy his own ticket if he wants to attend The Open Championship this summer after being snubbed by the R&A.

The Australian twice lifted the Claret Jug in his playing days, but he has become one of the most polarising figures in elite golf since launching the Saudi Arabia-bankrolled breakaway tour in 2022.

Norman is not banned from this year’s edition of the Open, unlike in 2022 when he was told not to attend the 150th Open celebrations and the champions’ dinner at St Andrews due to his role in golf’s civil war between LIV and the PGA Tour. The R&A said at the time it wanted to “to ensure that the focus remains on celebrating the championship and its heritage”.

Two years on and the golf landscape has shifted dramatically, with LIV’s backers the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund in long-running talks with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour over a merger. Yet the outspoken Norman remains a peripheral figure in the traditional golf establishment.

R&A corporate communications director Mike Woodcock told reporters at a media day on Monday that he was not aware of an invite being extended to Norman for the event, urging “The Shark” to check out the resale market if he wanted to catch the action at Royal Troon in July.

“I don’t think there’s a G. Norman [on the list],” Woodcock said. “I think they would have let me know if there was. So I’m not aware that he’s bought a ticket so far. Obviously, there are tickets still available on the resale platform or hospitality. He’s very welcome to look there.”

It would not be the first time Norman has bought his own ticket for a major championship, with the 69-year-old attending The Masters at Augusta National as a fan earlier this month. But he doubtless would love a chance to be on the other side of the ropes with the other big power brokers in the game.

Norman was left fuming by his omission from the guest list for the 150th Open. He told Golf Digest at the time: “I would have thought the R&A would have stayed above it all given their position in world golf. It’s petty, as all I have done is prompt and grow the game of golf globally, on and off the golf course, for more than four decades.”

“Vindication is not the right word. It’s the ignorance of others who simply didn’t understand what we were trying to do,” Norman said. “I actually feel sorry for them because they now see the true value of LIV Golf and want to be a part of it. The support Australia gave me during my own playing career for decades was something I have never I have never forgotten.

“It’s why I brought LIV Golf back home… I did it for them. The people have well and truly spoken. Both individual and team golf is alive and well in Australia and they deserve it. I knew they would support this event.”