Greg Norman asked not to attend golf event he founded
Greg Norman founded the QBE Shootout in 1989 and has hosted the charity event every year since, but he will not be in attendance this year. That is because the LIV Golf CEO and commissioner has been asked to stay home.
This year’s QBE Shootout, which is a 54-hold tournament with two-man teams, will be held at the Gold Course at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla., from Dec. 9-11. The course is one of the many Norman designed. On Tuesday, Norman revealed in a lengthy Instagram post that he has been asked not to attend the event due to his venture with LIV.
“Sadly, after 33 consecutive years of playing in and hosting every Shootout tournament — a co-sanctioned PGA Tour event — since I founded it in 1989, this year I have been asked not to attend,” Norman wrote. “Why one might ask? Perhaps it is 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. 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.”
Norman went on to mention how the Shootout events — formerly known as the RMCC Invitational and then Shark Shootout — have raised more than $15 million for charity. He said those charities remain “of the utmost importance” to his family and that he has decided not to attend the QBE Shootout so the focus can remain on them.
You can see the full post below:
QBE Shootout director Rob Hartman said the tournament had been in discussions with Norman for months about his role. He told the Naples Daily News that the decision was eventually made for Norman to “step back and really let the focus remain on our tremendous charitable partners.” While Norman said in his Instagram post that he decided not to attend, it is clear that was not the preferred outcome for him.
As ESPN’s Mark Schlabach notes, Norman had a meeting with PGA Tour players at the 1994 Shark Shootout to discuss the possibility of starting a World Tour. The idea was for the top 30 or 40 players in the world to compete in events that featured large purses. That shows how long he has been trying to launch a league like LIV. The PGA Tour said at the time that it would block members from competing in any such events.
Norman has continued to be defiant toward the PGA Tour, which we saw with the recent shot he took at commissioner Jay Monahan. The issues between LIV and the PGA Tour have shown no signs of fizzling out.