CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Greg Norman says he has been asked not to attend the QBE Shootout in December, a PGA Tour-sanctioned event he started in 1989 as the Shark Shootout that is held at the Tiburon Golf Club course he designed.
The question of who requested that he be excused from the tournament on December 9-11 was unclear. It was decided collectively by the tournament director.
Norman was in Washington Tuesday to discuss his Saudi-funded LIV Golf line with Congressmen.
“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,”Norman added. “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.”
The QBE Shootout was the first of the PGA Tour’s unofficial season late in the year to raise more than $1 million for childhood cancer, a figure he says now tops $15 million. There are 12 competing two-player teams in several formats.
Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na and Kevin Na are this year’s defending champs. This year, they will not be back because LIV Golf suspended their players. The QBE Shootout tournament is a tour sanctioned event.
Norman claims he wasn’t asked to go, but he said later in an Instagram post that he values the donations to charities.
“As such, I have decided not to attend this year’s event so the focus can rema in on the missions at hand,”He stated.
The tournament director Rob Hartman told The Naples Daily News that it was mutually agreed upon.
“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 stated. “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.”
Norman also was asked by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club this summer not to attend the festivities surrounding the 150th British Open at St. Andrews because of the distraction created by LIV Golf, which has paid enormous sums to PGA Tour players such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau to defect to the rival league.
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