AUGUSTA, Ga. — Greg Norman is hoping for revenge for being snubbed by the Masters.
And that would mean one of the 18 LIV golfers competing at Augusta National this week winning the event.
Norman, LIV Golf’s CEO, told The Daily Telegraph that if one of his golfers captures the Green Jacket, the other 17 will be ready to storm the 18th green.
“They’ve said that if one of them wins then the other 17 will hang around and be there to congratulate him around the 18th green,” Norman told the British newspaper. “Could you imagine what a scene that would be, all these players hugging the winner. You only see things like that in the Ryder Cup, although it’s happening in our events more and more.”
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Norman, though, will not be there to soak it in, telling The Telegraph he was not invited.
“Funnily enough, I haven’t been invited,” said Norman, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens. “As a major winner I always was before, but they only sent me a grounds pass last year and nothing, zilch, this time around. I’m disappointed because it’s so petty but, of course, I’ll still be watching.”
Norman won two majors, the 1986 and 1993 British Open. He was runner-up three times at the Masters, including a playoff loss to Larry Mize in 1987 and blowing a six-shot lead in the final round in 1996.
Norman said watching LIV golfers celebrate on the 18th green at the Masters would “make up for all my own Augusta misery.”
“They’re not going there as individuals, but as a team, backing each other, supporting and rooting for each other,” he said. “I think that gives these great players an even greater chance next Sunday.”
The field includes six former Masters winners who have left the PGA Tour to join the Saudi-backed league — Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010), Jupiter’s Charl Schwartzel (2011), Bubba Watson (2012, 2014), Sergio Garcia (2017), Patrick Reed (2018) and Jupiter’s Dustin Johnson (2020).
Cameron Smith, the defending British Open champion, and Johnson have the best odds of winning among LIV golfers, according to DraftKings, at +2200.
Jupiter’s Brooks Koepka, coming off a win at LIV Orlando, is next at +3500.
Smith said Monday he has not heard of any talk about a celebration and if there was “I definitely got left out on that one.”
He added he would like to see a LIV golfer in contention.
“For sure I’d love to see one of us guys get up to the top of the leaderboard and really give it a nice shot,” he said.
“I think there’s a lot of chatter about these guys don’t play real golf, these guys don’t play real golf courses.”
Smith then said something that goes against LIV talking points.
“For sure, I’ll be the first one to say, the fields aren’t as strong. I’m the first one to say that,” he said, before adding, “but we’ve still got a lot of guys that can play some really serious golf, and we compete against each other hard week-in and week-out and we’re trying to do the same things that we did six months ago.”
Defending Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and Jupiter’s Rory McIlroy, who needs a Masters win to complete the career grand slam, are the co-favorites at +700.
“How can our players not be extra motivated,” Norman said. “There’s been insults recently that LIV is not real golf and I get truly miffed by that hypocrisy. Rory McIlroy implied we were opening some kind of circus and that LIV is an exhibition. And yet, on his and Tiger Woods’ advice, the PGA Tour goes ahead and does the same thing in doing their limited field events with more money etc. Where’s the consistency right?
“I have faith in the players putting up a great show at the Masters and silencing the critics and making everyone realize we are a force for good in the game.”