Is Greg Norman really being considerate or does he still have a beef with the R&A?
Greg Norman has told a reporter at the BBC that he does not intend on taking his place in the 2015 Open Championship at St.Andrews – his last year of automatic eligibility.
There has been hope from golf fans that Norman will play, along with Nick Faldo and Tom Watson who are making their last Open Championship appearances at St.Andrews in July.
But Norman is reluctant to take the place of another player who will benefit from the experience, adding that he doesn’t have time to practice for such an event.
“For me to get ready to go and play at St. Andrews, I need to practice. And I don’t have time to practice because I’m doing two USGA events for Fox,” said Norman.
“I’m not going to walk to the first tee and feel like I’m taking up the space of some young kid who could actually learn a heck of a lot more from it. I don’t believe in doing that. I think it’s so unfair to do that.”
He makes a good point about not wanting to take someone else’s place. As it has been pointed out in several other publications, Norman withdrew from the 2010 Open at St.Andrews after shoulder surgery, only to be replaced by Jason Day.
But we’re still suspicious about whether Norman’s sponsorship row with the R&A and European Tour is a more likely explanation for his Open snub.
After all, only last year he told The Daily Mail that a dispute between rival watch companies Rolex and Omega was the reason he won’t ever play The Open again.
“If you want the truth, I’ve played in my last Open and it’s all down to the way the Royal and Ancient and the European Tour have handled my whole situation.”
“‘It has left a pretty sour taste in my mouth, a bad feeling after what I have done in the game. I’ve nothing against the R&A and the European Tour but, quite frankly, the way they go about their business is not the way I do it.”
Norman’s last Open Championship was at Turnberry in 2009 that was won by Stewart Cink who beat Tom Watson in a playoff.