Norman on Masters visit: I left the house with trepidation

Ronan MacNamara

Greg Norman (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman admits he was a little nervous leaving his house on the Wednesday of the Masters not knowing how his presence would be received.

Norman had to pay for his own ticket despite having 13 of his LIV Golf League players competing in the field and while the sight of an Irishman in the gallery wearing a GAA jersey (Galway) is commonplace, Norman’s appearance raised plenty of eyebrows.

The Australian says he thoroughly enjoyed being back as a fan despite being denied access to the course by official channels. While he was there to primarily cheer on the LIV players he was spotted following Rory McIlrory’s group in round one.

“It was phenomenal, to be honest with you,” said Norman.

“I went there specifically to support the boys. I wanted them to know that I was there for that reason, so I tried to get around to shake hands with each and every one of them to wish them the best.

“To walk with the patrons, I’ve never done that before in my life anywhere in the world. I think I walked one playoff here in Australia when a friend of mine was in the Australian Masters. I walked with his family on the playoff hole.

“But it was incredible. The support, the recognition, the comments that were made, it was almost unanimous for three straight days walking around with people. I had people with me, so I do have witnesses to the fact that that’s what it was.

“To see it and to hear it and to hear the comments they made about what’s happening to the game of golf and the go that LIV has brought to the game of golf, it was very, very strong for me. It was a very powerful three days.

“I must admit, Wednesday when I was going out there, I did leave the house with trepidation because I didn’t know what to expect because I have a lot of great friends at Augusta National, I’ve got a lot of history at Augusta National, and I just didn’t know what to expect. My first hour walking around, I went, whew, and I just relaxed and had a great time.”

As for what direction golf’s civil war will go in, the former world number one was coy on any potential merger.

“I would love to give you insight but I don’t have any. We at LIV are totally separate to that part of the negotiation. We at LIV are a standalone company being invested by the same investor interested in the game of golf.

“So me specifically, I don’t know what’s going on over there. I really don’t want to know what’s going on over there because we are so fixated on growing and developing and building out what LIV is today and looking and doing our schedule for 2025 and going into 2026. Our responsibility is to look after our people, our players, and where we want to go. I don’t have an answer.”

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