Greg Norman

The QBE Shootout was originally known as the RMCC Invitational when it started in 1989 when it was hosted by golfer Greg Norman. Fast-forward to 2022 and Norman, now the CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf, has been asked not to attend the event he founded.

While the 54-hole event will be held at the Norman-designed Gold Course at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida in December, Norman himself will not be there, likely over concerns stemming from the Saudi-backed golf league that he oversees and that has been at the center of much controversy in recent months.

“Sadly, after 33 consecutive years of playing in and hosting every Shootout tournament — a co-sanctioned PGA Tour event — since I founded it in 1989, this year I have been asked not to attend,” Norman wrote on Instagram. “Why one might ask? Perhaps it is because I am helping to 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 players their rights as independent contractors to benefit from their performance and brand. In some people’s mind this is too disruptive and evolution is perceived as a bad thing. I disagree – competition breeds excellence.”

QBE Shootout director Rob Hartman told the Naples Daily News that they discussed Norman’s potential role for months beforehand.

“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. “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.”

It’s a bit awkward to get disinvited from the golf tournament you started that is being played on a course you designed, and the golf world had its fair share of reactions to the news.

[ESPN, Naples Daily News]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.