Greg Norman was deprived of the British Open

Greg Norman was deprived of the British Open

LONDON – It was only in the spring that Greg Norman, who twice picked up Claret Jog as the British Open winner, demanded a special fee to play in this week’s tournament in St. Andrew’s, Scotland.

The answer was unfounded: no.

And not only is there no place on the field for Norman, his role in the new LIV golf series he has created a paradigm in some golf circles, it turns out that Norman has not even been invited to dinner.

R&A, which organizes the release, became the last corner of golf over the weekend that said Norman had been deported, and temporarily banned even from the traditional gathering of former Open Heroes dinners. The move sparked this week’s tournament, the last of the four major golf major of the year, as a new flash point in which players and executives openly clash over LIV golf, a Saudi-funded rebel league that is a sport. Had made Norman once organized in decision.

In a soft but stern statement, R&A made it clear that it had chosen one side. She contacted Norman, saying, “Advise him that we decided not to invite him to participate in this event.”

“The 150 release is a very important milestone for golf and we want to make sure the focus stays on celebrating the championship and its legacy,” R&A said. R&A said. “Unfortunately, we do not believe this will be the case if Greg attends. We hope Greg will be able to rejoin in the future when conditions allow.”

LIV Golf, whose main financial backer is the Saudi Independent Property Fund, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Norman, LIV’s chief executive, told the Australian Golf Digest he was “disappointed” and thought the decision was “small”.

“I would have thought that R&A would have stayed above all this given their position in the world of golf,” Norman said, adding that their only major victories at major tournaments were in 1986 at Turnbury and in 1993 at Turnbury. Rails won at the Open in St. George.

The public controversy between Norman, 67, and R&A began in April when he expressed confidence in the Australian media that he could get exemptions from open rules – which allowed past heroes to just Enter this qualification if they are 60 or less – and play in the 150th iteration of the tournament, which is set to begin on Thursday at the Old Course in St. Andrew’s, Scotland.

Word soon returned that R&A would not offer such an exemption to Norman. (Government agency flexible: agrees to accept 62-year-old professional Mark Kalkawichia who won the Royal Troon in 1989, as his opener who was expected to say goodbye in 2020 was canceled due to coronavirus disease And he recovered from surgery last summer. “

But attention – and research – has only increased in the months leading up to Norman’s intervention, as he has attracted former greats such as Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reid to the LIV series, cut ties with the PGA Tour and switched to golf. Did. In a depressing tone, his remarks in May denied the killing and dismemberment of a Washington Post journalist by Saudi Arabia, saying, “Look, we’ve all made a mistake,” sparking new criticism.

Norman is not the first major champion to miss out on last year’s winners due to anger over his association with Saudi Arabia. Mickelson, a three-time Masters champion, was absent from a meeting at the National Golf Club in April when he denounced Saudi Arabia’s “horrific record on human rights”, but said LIV Once in a lifetime was an opportunity to change how the PGA Tour works.

Michelson is expected to play in St. Andrew’s this week.

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