NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Greg Norman is “disappointed” with the R&A after being asked not to attend pre-tournament festivities at the British Open next week because of circumstances surrounding LIV Golf.
Norman, who won The Open Championship in 1986 and 1993, told Australian Golf Digest he was sent a letter by the R&A asking him not to attend the Champions Dinner or the Celebration of Champions competition for the 150th installment of the tournament at St. Andrews starting next week.
“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 responding to Norman’s comments. “Unfortunately, we do not believe that would be the case if Greg were to attend.”
Norman, who serves as CEO of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series, has been the center of controversy since players from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour defected to his circuit because of its large signing bonuses and $25 million in prize money.
“I’m disappointed. I would have thought the R&A would have stayed above it all given their position in world golf,” Norman told Australian Golf Digest in response to the statement.
“(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.”
The latest dust-up with the R&A follows a previous interview Norman gave earlier this year when he said he was planning to compete in The Open, which was later shot down by the group.
Norman is 67, and past Open champions are exempt only until they are 60. His final year of eligibility was in 2015 at St. Andrews. He chose not to play, saying he hadn’t practiced enough, and he didn’t feel right about taking a spot in the field from a younger player.
The majors have not taken a stand against players competing in LIV Golf events.
There are currently 23 players competing in the British Open that also competed at the LIV Golf Invitational Portland last weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.