LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg NormanTuesdays announcement was that he was not allowed to attend the QBE Shootout. This event, which he started and has hosted since 1989, was his first.
The 54-hole competition will be played between two-man teams at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples on December 9-11.
Norman posted on Instagram, Sadly, after 33 years of hosting every Shootout tournament — a cosanctioned PGA Tour Event — since 1989, this year, I have been asked to not attend. Why? you might wonder. Perhaps its because I am giving golf a new heartbeat, adding new value and delivering new products that are loved by fans, players, and broadcasters. In doing so, I am finally allowing players to have their own rights as independent contractors and be able to benefit from their performance. Some people view this as too disruptive, and evolution is seen negatively. I disagree. Competition breeds excellence.
Rob Hartman, QBE Shootout director, said that Norman had been in contact with the tournament for months.
Hartman said that Hartman reached an agreement with the charity partners as they got closer. Hartman stated that Hartman would take a step back and let the focus stay on the incredible charitable partners. Naples Daily News. When he started this event 34 year ago, it was all charity. Now its all charity. Greg made the decision to not allow anything to distract him from that.
In July, the R&A decided not to invite two-time winner Norman to the 150th Open Championship celebration at St. Andrews. The R&A said it hoped that Norman would be able to attend again in the future when circumstances allow.
LIV Golf, financed from Saudi Arabias Public Investment Fund joined a few of its players last month as a plaintiff in a federal Antitrust lawsuit against PGA Tour. Plaintiffs claim that the PGA Tour unlawfully suspended golfers for participating in LIV Golf events. They also accused it of illegally using its monopoly to squash competition.
Norman wrote Tuesday that Change can be good. Evolution and innovation in the professional golf product have been required for decades. Just ask the next generation.
Norman claims that the QBE Shootout raised more than $15 Million for charities.
Norman wrote, These charities, the missions they pursue and the financial benefits that Shootout tournament donations provide each year are of the utmost importance for me and my family. As such I have decided to not attend this years tournament so that the mission can be kept in focus.
Norman founded the tournament, which was then known as the RMCC Invitational at Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks, California. It was later renamed The Shark Shootout, and moved to Naples in 2000.
Norman met with PGA Tour members behind closed doors to discuss his plan for a new World Tour. The plan saw the top 30-40 players compete in eight events with $3,000,000 purses. According to Fox, he had secured a 10-year commitment to televise the tournaments. Normans proposal for a league never materialized.
The PGA Tour made a statement at the time saying that it would prevent its members from participating on World Tour events by enforcing television release and conflicting events rules.