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R&A disinvites Greg Norman from Open past-champion festivities

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NORTH BERWICK, Scotland – Greg Norman, who has become the ultimate disruptor with his LIV Golf series, was informed by the R&A he was not invited to participate in Monday’s Celebration of Champions event or the Champions’ Dinner next week in St. Andrews.

“The 150th Open is an extremely important milestone for golf and we want to ensure that the focus remains on celebrating the championship and its heritage,” a statement from the R&A read. “Unfortunately, we do not believe that would be the case if Greg were to attend. We hope that when circumstances allow Greg will be able to attend again in future.”

Norman is CEO of LIV Golf, the Saudi-funded league that’s wooing the game’s top players away from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour (formerly European tour). The two-time winner of the Open Championship had requested an exemption to play next week’s championship but was denied because he is over 60, which is the cut off for past champions.

It’s unclear if the Australian planned to participate in the four-hole Celebration of Champions event or the Champions’ Dinner.

“I’m disappointed. I would have thought the R&A would have stayed above it all given their position in world golf,” Norman told Australian Golf Digest. “[It’s] petty, as all I have done is promote and grow the game of golf globally, on and off the golf course, for more than four decades.”

The R&A previously announced that players who had been suspended by the PGA Tour and European tour for defying regulations and playing the LIV Golf events would be allowed to play the 150th Open.