Greg Norman's decision to be one of the founders of LIV Golf caused negative reactions in the golf scene. One of the last negative experiences was that the QBE Shootout leaders asked Norman not to attend this year. What is bizarre is that he founded the tournament 30+ years ago.
“Perhaps [I was asked not to attend] because I am helping to give golf a new heartbeat, creating new value and delivering a new product that is loved by players, fans and broadcasters alike,” Norman said on his Instagram, as quoted by golf.com "And in doing so, finally giving players their rights as independent contractors to benefit from their performance and brand.
In some people’s mind this is too disruptive and evolution is perceived as a bad thing. I disagree — competition breeds excellence”.
Rob Hartman explains their decision
QBE Shootout tournament director Rob Hartman explained his and the team's decision.
“As we got close, ultimately the decision was made that he was going to step back and really let the focus remain on our tremendous charitable partners,” Hartman said. “When he started this event 34 years ago, it was all about charity then and it’s all about charity now.
Greg just made the decision that he didn’t want anything to distract from that”. The R&A recently made the same move. “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,” the R&A said in a statement then. “Unfortunately, we do not believe that would be the case if Greg were to attend”.
Norman is grateful to everyone for their support and will miss being part of the spectacle again this year. “To the Shootout charities, the City of Naples and to all of the incredible volunteers, corporate sponsors, fans and Shootout staff, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued good work and support,” Norman said. “I will miss seeing you all this year but I will certainly be there in spirit”.