- Greg Norman has been asked not to attend the QBE Shootout in December.
- The LIV Golf CEO created the tournament himself 33 years ago and has played in it every year since.
- “Perhaps it is because I am helping to give golf a new heartbeat,” he wrote on Instagram.
LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman has been asked not to attend the QBE Shootout in December, a PGA Tour-sanctioned event he started over three decades ago.
Norman started the tournament in 1989 as the RMCC Invitational and has played in it every year since.
The 67-year-old confirmed on Instagram Wednesday that he had been asked not to play this year. He suggested that he was asked not to partake because of his involvement with the controversial Saudi-funded LIV Golf series.
“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,” wrote Norman.
“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 said in his Instagram post that he had agreed not to play this year so that the tournament can continue to focus on raising money.
“These charities, their missions and the financial benefits they receive from Shootout tournament donations each year is of the utmost importance to me and my family,” he said. “As such, I have decided not to attend this year’s event so the focus can remain on the missions at hand.”
According to the QBE Shootout’s website, the tournament has “raised in excess of $15 million” for charity since its inception.
QBE Shootout tournament director Rob Hartman said the decision to ask Norman not to play was a collective one made among event organizers.
“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 told Naples News.
“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.”