Greg Norman bought a Masters ticket. I walked around Augusta with him 

Greg Norman

Greg Norman (and a reporter in the background) on Friday at the Masters.

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AUGUSTA, Ga. — He rubbernecks, as if he’s just seen — no, it can’t be. He thinks he’s just walked past — nuh-uh. Not here. Not now. 

But he double-checks with a friend anyway.

“Is that … who I think it is?”

Sure was. A passerby even confirms it. 

As the thirtysomethings were walking into Augusta National Golf Club’s south gate early Friday afternoon for the Masters second round, Greg Norman and some friends were walking out.

Greg Norman. Both an Augusta legend and possibly its most tragic figure, the result (in both instances) of being a multiple-time runner-up.

Greg Norman. The CEO of LIV Golf, who has a collection of 13 players here this week, including second-round co-leader Bryson DeChambeau — and whose upstart tour has been feuding with the PGA Tour for players and prestige now for three golf seasons, and whose backer is in talks with the Tour on a complicated funding deal

Greg Norman. Patron? 

Word began to float through the pines on Wednesday that he was on the grounds, through a purchased ticket, about a year after he’d been denied an invite. ANGC chairman Fred Ridley explained that decision like this: “I want the focus this week to be on the Masters competition, on the great players that are participating.”

Eventually, on this Wednesday, cameras spotted him. He was talking with pro Min Woo Lee, a fellow Aussie. A Washington Post reporter eventually got a word with him. “I’m here,” Norman said, “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.’”

Norman was back for Thursday’s first round. He returned for Friday’s second round. 

A reporter did too. He walked with Norman. Watched what he watched. Watched him weave through holes on the first nine and find viewing spots like a seasoned badge holder. Heard friendly interactions. Heard patrons joke when he walked into a restroom.

Then Norman poked the reporter in the arm. 

Here, then, is all the reporter saw, from a 180-minute walk across Augusta National with the Shark, broken into six essential questions. 

A patron among patrons.


6. How’d he get in? 

A ticket. From the secondary market. Greg Norman Jr., his son, noted that Thursday on Twitter. He said his dad tried to go through “the proper channels,” but was denied. 

“It was an amazing experience; hundreds of golf fans approached him walking outside the ropes,” the younger Norman wrote. “All positive support of him and LIV. Not one person said anything negative to him.

“And this is exactly the point of me posting this: we have received a lot of hate over the years, but this stems from financially incentivized opposing parties or bottom-of-the-barrel sociopathic online trolls,” said Norman Jr. “The vast majority of folks we run into are positive, encouraging, fans of LIV, or simply fans of golf. So, in light of this, here’s to an epic Masters. Four days where we put all the BS behind us, sit back, and watch a LIV player take the green jacket.”

But the reporter was also curious and maybe a little doubting: Did Norman just walk in, unbothered by the normal celebrity-at-the-Masters channels of private parking and VIP entrances? Or put another way, were folks seeing him walk in through the same gates they were walking in through, using the same parking they were using?

They were. The reporter walked out with him. Two security guards near a gate said he arrived Friday morning at 8. They said he left Thursday afternoon at 4:30. Then, they said, he stood around for a while. 

5. Who’d he watch?

A little after 11 in the morning, Norman, along with five women and one security-looking official, watched Joaquin Niemann, a LIV pro, on the practice green behind the 1st hole. A short while later, they followed DeChambeau. Norman was wearing a straw hat adorned with a shark logo, a white shirt adorned with a LIV Golf logo, and black pants. He was impossible to miss. Give him some sticks and a tee time, and he’d play. 

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To the left of the 5th tee, he shook hands with Gary Woodland, one of DeChambeau’s playing partners. To the right of the 5th fairway, he shook hands with a CBS camera person. To the right of the 2nd hole, he speaks about Brooks Koepka, another LIV player, while eating a Masters cookie. 

To the right of the 1st fairway, Norman stepped over a rope, walked over to a television stand and shook hands with ESPN analyst Andy North. 

“Hi, how’s it going?” he asked. 

The interaction was brief. North mentioned something about the cameras being on. 

4. Who watched him?

To the right of 1, on his walk up the hole, he autographed a cup. He fist-bumped three fans. He shoulder-tapped another. He shoulder-tapped a young boy.  

“Is that the Shark?” one patron asked. 

“That’s the Shark,” another patron said. 

To the right of 2, four patrons were sitting in chairs, and Norman stood next to them. They whispered to each other. They shouted.  


No answer. 

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He turned. Waved. They slapped each other. A bet was won. One of the patrons didn’t think it was Norman. A reporter wanted to know more. 

What do you think of seeing him out here?

Said one patron: “Bizarre. I remember watching him.” 

Said another patron: “What’s the show with the houses?” 


Said the second patron: “Yeah, Cribs. I watched his.” 


Said the second patron: “He had this huge gun rack.”

To the right of 2, a group of 20 patrons followed him to the bathroom. One bet he could slap his backside. The reporter didn’t follow.  

Behind the 4th tee, he shook hands with a patron sitting in a chair and smoking a cigarette. A reporter wanted to know more. 

What did you talk about?

“That it was tough sledding out here.” 

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When you see him out here, with all that’s going on between the PGA Tour and LIV, what do you think?

“It’s nice to see him out here really.” 

What’s your take on what’s going on in golf?

“Oh, there’s plenty of talent on both sides. I think the next 12 months will be a really telling 12 months. I really think if they played 72 holes, something could happen.” 

I’ve heard Jon Rahm talk about that.

“Yeah, yeah.” 

All right, I’m going to keep walking with him.

“Good luck!”

3. Did the reporter talk to him?  

He did. Or tried to. To the right of 2. 

Hi, Greg. My name is Nick Piastowski with GOLF Magazine. Can we talk?

“No, I’d rather not.” 

The reporter tried again. His thought was: No politics. OK. But he wouldn’t just walk away.  

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Can we talk about Bryson?

“Yeah, yeah, sure.”  

Have you seen anything from him that would have him make a run this week?

“He’s happy.” 

What do you mean by that? Like a change you’ve seen in him?

“Happy in the world he’s in. He’s calmer.” 

He talked about that in the press conference. A change. Anything in particular?

“Probably the environment he’s in now. He’s got good people around him. He’s got a great support team. He’s got great team members. The whole thing. Unless you’ve never seen what we have out there, it’s about being in a family. Giving them the opportunity to play green.” 

Are you encouraged by the fan support here? A lot of people seem to be fist-bumping, approaching you.

“Oh, it’s been unbelievable. Been unanimous actually. One-hundred percent, yeah. Been actually powerful, to tell you the truth.” 

The reporter asked DeChambeau about being happy. 

I talked with Greg Norman today, and he said that he thinks you’re playing more happy; that you feel more happy.


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What’s your reaction to hearing that?

“Yeah, you’ve seen me in a lot of good moments and in a lot of bad moments. I was even struggling over at LIV when I jumped over there and wasn’t playing my best golf. So he’s seen some up and downs, as well as Mr. Nelson [the press conference moderator] over here. There’s been a lot of people that have seen up and downs.

“And I think getting some equipment in my hands that works for me, also getting a little bit older, hopefully a little bit wiser, has just allowed me to calm down and be comfortable in my own skin and enjoy the moments because it’s not going to be here forever. Might as well enjoy it while you’re here.”

2. Did the reporter get jabbed in the arm by Norman?

He did. 

To the right of 4, Norman was watching tee shots from the gravel path that intersects the hole. The reporter was about 50 yards behind him. Norman walked back to him. 

He jabbed the reporter in the right shoulder. 

“Here’s my reporter friend.”

The reporter friend asked if he could watch the hole with Norman. He said yes. Just golf. With him here was Jamie Lynn Davis, who is LIV Golf’s director of team management.

What’s the hardest shot out here today?

“Today? All of them. Windy.”

What’s the best sandwich you had?

Norman to Davis: “What’s the one with the cheese?”

Davis to Norman: “Pimento?”

Norman to the reporter: “Pimento.”

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Davis to Norman: “You liked the ham and cheese best.” 

Norman to the reporter: “Yes, yes, that one. That’s the first time I’ve ever eaten a sandwich out of a green bag.” 

Norman and Davis, from 100 yards away, watch DeChambeau putt for birdie from 13 feet away. Norman tells Davis he needs to give the putt four-and-a-half feet of break. He’s right. DeChambeau doesn’t listen. He misses. 

Norman to Davis: “Where’s the U.S. Open this year?”

Reporter to Norman and Davis: “Pinehurst.” 

Norman to reporter: “Interesting.”  

One more question.

Earlier in the week, another reporter had asked Koepka whether a player could ever break 60 at Augusta National. Koepka almost seemed offended. He asked the reporter if he’d ever played Augusta. The reporter said no. 

“I can tell by the question,” Koepka responded.

The reporter then asked again, this time to Norman.

“With those boys, you never say never.”

1. How’d he leave?


To the right of the 5th hole, while watching DeChambeau, he tried to cross over toward the 6th tee, but was blocked by a patron rope. There was a conversation. The rope stayed up. Norman walked away. 

His group walked past the gift shop. 

Past Berckmans Place, the high-end patron hub. 

Past a green jacket. 

Out the door at 1:30 p.m. local time.

Where the two patrons walking in are wondering who they just saw. 

The answer is suddenly obvious.

Another patron. 

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at