D’Angelo: LIV Golf’s Greg Norman not being at QBE Shootout is typical for bizarre year in golf

NAPLES, Fla. — The most polarizing figure in golf is not at the event he founded 34 years ago. Yet his fingerprints remain all over the course.

The QBE Shootout at Tiburon Golf Course was known as the Shark Shootout until it was decided Greg Norman, known as the Great White Shark, had to step away because of his involvement with the controversial LIV Golf series. While Norman said he was “asked not to attend,” tournament director Rob Hartman said Wednesday it was “a very collaborative decision,” that involved discussions with Norman.

Still, that does not mean Norman has been wiped clean from the event. That never will happen with something he founded, is played on a course he designed and basically named after him.

Tiburon means “shark” in Spanish. The course’s logo features a shark fin and the grandstands overlooking the 18th green continue to be called Shootout Shark Club.

Almost everything sold on the property is a reminder of Norman.

“To not have him around is kind of a weird deal,” said Steve Stricker. “But understand the situation it has come down to and how polarized some of these entities are against each other.”

Norman is the CEO of LIV Golf, the breakaway league backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. LIV and the PGA Tour have become bitter rivals after several players defected from the Tour to join LIV. What has followed is a lot of rhetoric and name calling; lawsuits and court battles.

Norman, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, clearly has a vendetta against the PGA Tour going back decades. Teaming with the Saudis to create LIV Golf was more than “growing the game of golf.”

So Norman’s involvement in a tournament sanctioned by the PGA Tour was not going to happen. Ironically, the QBE Shootout is as close to a LIV format as you will get on the PGA Tour. The tournament is 54 holes (or LIV holes) with a 12 two-person team format. LIV’s events are comprised of 12 four-man teams.

“We sat down months and months ago with him and our corporate partners,” Hartman said. “We had several discussions. The decision was made for Greg to step back and really allow the focus to be on our charitable partners.”

Defending champions Kokrak, Na also out

Norman’s is not the only glaring omission. Defending champions Jason Kokrak and Kevin Na are ineligible for any PGA sanctioned event after joining LIV.

The participants, of which there are 24, are not surprised Norman is not on site. LIV dominated sports headlines this summer, especially its feud with the PGA Tour, and it was ugly.

“You kind of understood what was going to happen and the separation,” Matt Kuchar said. “It’s been a bit messy at times, the division between the PGA Tour and the LIV tour. You’ve got a couple of stubborn sides that are being stubborn.

“It’s a shame,” Kuchar continued. “What he started is great. I think his legacy will continue on. I think people will remember Greg is the one who started this.”

Stricker, who is

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By: Tom D’Angelo
Title: D’Angelo: LIV Golf’s Greg Norman not being at QBE Shootout is typical for bizarre year in golf
Sourced From: golfweek.usatoday.com/2022/12/08/liv-golf-greg-norman-qbe-shootout-golf-2022/
Published Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2022 16:03:41 +0000

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