Why Greg Norman showed up at the Masters a year after he wasn’t invited

Greg Norman of Australia The Commissioner of the LIV Golf Tour in amongst the patrons during a practice round prior to the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National

Greg Norman at Augusta National on Wednesday.

David Cannon for getty images

There was a Greg Norman sighting at the Masters on Wednesday.

In his competitive prime, when Norman stalked his golfing prey like the predator from which he earned his Great White Shark nickname, that would not have been news. But in 2024 it sure is. That’s because Norman has been at the epicenter of a controversial revolution that has turned professional golf inside out and left the game’s powerbrokers unsure about how to position themselves with (or against) LIV Golf, the Saudi-financed league that Norman now helps govern.

In the prelude to last year’s Masters, Augusta National made its LIV skittishness clear when it declined to extend Norman a tournament invite, because, as club chairman Fred Ridley said at the time, “I want the focus this week to be on the Masters competition, on the great players that are participating.”

The club, it seems, did not alter its Norman stance in advance of this year’s Masters, but Norman found a way through the gates, anyway.  According to the Washington Post, Norman acquired his own tickets and attended the Wednesday practice round with a pair of his fellow LIV executives.  

In an interview with the Post, Norman said: “I’m here because we have 13 players that won 10 Masters between them. So I’m here just to support them, do the best I can to show them, ‘Hey, you know, the boss is here rooting for you.’ ”’s efforts to locate Norman on Wednesday afternoon were fruitless, but a couple of patrons near the clubhouse said they had seen him pacing the course in “a white cowboy hat.”

It actually was a straw hat, the kind that Norman has worn throughout his career. But point was, if you saw Norman, he cut a striking figure against Augusta’s emerald fairways, in black pants, a white long sleeve shirt with a LIV logo on the chest and a hat brandished with his Shark stamp. It’s unclear which players Norman followed but Getty Images published a photo of him shaking hands with Min Woo Lee, a 25-year-old Australian who is playing in his first Masters this week (with a broken finger, no less).

Norman and Min Woo Lee at Augusta National on Wednesday. David Cannon for Getty Images

Norman played in 23 editions of the Masters, three times finishing runner-up and never more famously than in 1996 when he lost a Sunday lead in heartbreaking fashion to Nick Faldo. Before this week Norman hadn’t attended a Masters since 2021, when he helped call the tournament for SiriusXM radio.

Since the 2023 Masters, the LIV-PGA Tour tension has lessened considerably, with both sides now working toward a pact that will resolve some of the challenges facing both tours and, presumably, create avenues by which the world’s best players can compete against one another more than just four times a year. Negotiating on behalf of LIV has been its financial backers, the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund. When the Post asked Norman about the status of the peace talks, he was coy.

“LIV is completely autonomous to that, to be honest with you,” he said. “I’m not even privy to any of the conversations, which I’m happy about because we’re focused on delivering what we’re promised the world we would deliver.”

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