Greg Norman has branded the R&A “petty” after the organisation decided not to invite him to be part of The 150th Open celebrations next week.
In a statement issued on Saturday morning, the St Andrews-based body revealed that it had decided not to invite the two-time Open winner, currently the CEO of the controversial LIV Golf, to either play in the ‘Celebration of Champions’ event on Monday or attend the Champions' Dinner.
“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,” said an R&A spokesperson.
“Unfortunately, we do not believe that would be the case if Greg were to attend. We hope that when circumstances allow Greg will be able to attend again in future.”
Speaking to Australian Golf Digest shortly after that news was announced, Norman – who won the Claret Jug at Turnberry in 1986 and Royal St George’s in 1993 – took umbrage at the decision.
“I’m disappointed,” said the 67-year-old former world No.1. “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 promote and grow the game of golf globally, on and off the golf course, for more than four decades.”
This is the second time Norman has been ‘snubbed’ by the R&A in regards to this year’s landmark Open Championship. Earlier this year, he revealed that he asked for permission to play in the event. As a past champion, his exemption to compete expired when he turned 60. His request was turned down.
The 150th Open gets under way at the Old Course in St Andrews on Thursday