Greg Norman said he was asked not to attend the QBE Shootout, an event he founded, because of LIV Golf

Greg Norman said he was asked not to attend the QBE Shootout, an event he founded, because of LIV Golf

Greg Norman said Tuesday that he has been asked not to attend the QBE Shootout this season, the PGA Tour event he founded and has hosted at his Naples, Fla., course for more than three decades.

The problem, Norman hinted in an Instagram post, is because he is the CEO of the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series.

“Sadly, after 33 consecutive years of playing and hosting every Shootout tournament, a PGA Tour co-sanctioned event, since I founded it in 1989, I have been asked not to attend this year,” Norman wrote, in part.

“Why one might ask? Maybe it’s because I’m helping give golf a new heartbeat, creating new value and delivering a new product that is loved by players, fans and broadcasters alike. And in doing so, finally giving gamers their rights as independent contractors to benefit from their performance and branding. In some people’s minds, this is too disturbing and evolution is perceived as a bad thing.”

Norman has been the CEO of LIV Golf since its inception earlier this year and has drawn much criticism for his involvement in the Saudi-backed league. He was asked not to attend the British Open earlier this year, and the R&A said it would expect to invite him in the future only “when circumstances permit”. LIV Golf, as well as several players, are also currently in a legal battle with the PGA Tour over their feud.

The QBE Shootout is an unofficial Tour event held each December at the Norman-designed Gold Course at the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida. The 54-hole event pits 12 two-player teams and has raised more than $15 million for various charities.

Kevin Na and Jason Kokrak won the event last year at 33 under for the week.

QBE Shootout director Rob Hartman told the Naples Daily News on Tuesday that they had been discussing Norman’s role for months.

“As we got closer, the decision was finally made that I was going to step back and really let the focus remain on our tremendous charitable partners,” Hartman said. “When this event started 34 years ago, it was about charity then and it’s about charity now. Greg just made the decision that he didn’t want anything to distract him.”

Greg Norman, who founded the QBE Shootout more than three decades ago, is the CEO of LIV Golf. (Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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