LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said Tuesday that he will not be attending this year’s QBE Shootout, which he founded in 1989.
Norman has hosted, and in most years played, the event every year since its inception. But he now finds himself outside the world of more traditional golf as he leads the Saudi-backed competitor to the PGA Tour.
The tournament, once known as the Shark Shootout, based on Norman’s nickname, is an unofficial cash event held annually on the Tour in Naples, Florida.
The 54-hole uncut event that pairs players in teams of two is scheduled to be played December 9-11 at Tiburon Golf Club.
According to the Naples Daily News, tournament director Rob Hartman and tournament organizers contacted Norman about his participation over the course of several months, and both parties decided it would be best if he did not attend.
“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 all about charity then and it’s about charity now. Greg just made the decision that he didn’t want anything to distract him.”
According to the Shootout website, the tournament has raised more than $15 million for charity, most notably for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer.
Norman said in an Instagram post that he ultimately decided not to attend the QBE “so that the focus can remain on the missions at hand.”
As is the case with all Tour-affiliated events, any player who has defected to LIV Golf will not be able to play the QBE Shootout, including defending champions Jason Kokrak and Kevin Na.