LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman asked ‘not to attend’ PGA Tour event he founded in Florida three decades ago

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Greg Norman said on Tuesday that he will not attend this year’s QBE Shootout, the event he set up in Naples more than three decades ago.

In an Instagram post, Norman wrote that he was asked not to participate in the tournament that he has hosted and played every year since its inception in 1989. While the golf legend did not specify who asked him to skip the event, he said it was because of his involvement with LIV Golf, the controversial alternative to the PGA Tour funded by Saudi Arabia, which started its first season this year.

“In the mind(s) of some people this is too disturbing and evolution is seen as a bad thing,” Norman wrote.

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QBE Shootout Tournament Director Rob Hartman said event organizers have been in talks with Norman for months about his role as QBE host and that all parties have jointly decided that Norman will not attend.

“As we got close, the decision was eventually made that he would step back and really let the focus stay on our wonderful charitable partners,” Hartman said. “When he started this event 34 years ago, it was all about charity then and now it’s all about charity. Greg just made the decision that he didn’t want anything to distract from that.”

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According to the Shootout website, the tournament has raised more than $15 million for charity, most notably CureSearch for Children’s Cancer.

Norman said in his post that he made the decision not to attend the QBE “so that the focus can remain on the missions.”

“To the Shootout charities, the City of Naples and all the incredible volunteers, corporate sponsors, fans and Shootout employees, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued good work and support,” Norman wrote. “I will miss you all this year, but I will definitely be there in spirit.”

A number of PGA golfers who have played in the QBE, including 2021 champions Jason Kokrak and Kevin Na, have joined the LIV Tour, making them ineligible to play in PGA Tour-affiliated events, including the QBE .

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Hartman said the QBE’s 24-player field will be announced in mid-October. The QBE Shootout is scheduled for December 7-11 at Tiburon Golf Club.

“I expect we will definitely have some fresh fresh faces in Naples, but a quality field, again from head to toe,” Hartman said.

“Things are in a great place; we expect a really great event. We are all really looking forward to December and putting a lot on the board from a charitable perspective.”

Please contact Dan DeLuca: @News-PressDan (Twitter), [email protected]

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Story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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