LIV Golf could cost its members a chance to play in some Grand Slam tournaments down the road, and it is the reason Greg Norman won’t play in this year’s QBE Shootout, the tournament he founded over three decades ago.
Norman made the announcement on Instagram, that he won’t take part in the event held in Naples, Fla., because of his involvement with LIV Golf. The Australian has played in it every year since it started in 1989.
“In some people’s mind(s) this is too disruptive and evolution is perceived as a bad thing,” Norman wrote.
Norman is the CEO and public face of LIV Golf. He has controversially — and with the help of Saudi-funded pockets — helped lure some of the biggest names in golf away from the PGA Tour to his his rival league. He has also publicly feuded with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who pushed to ban all LIV players from Tour events.
The QBE Shootout is a team competition and does not count as an official Tour event. Tournament director Rob Hartman addressed Norman’s absence with NaplesNews.com.
“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 of the event, which is scheduled for Dec. 7-11. “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 QBE Shootout has raised over $15 million for charity, according to its website. Norman said he didn’t want to hinder those efforts.
“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 wrote. “I will miss seeing you all this year but I will certainly be there in spirit.”