Report: Controversial LIV Golf figure spotted at 2024 Masters

LIV Golf's chief executive Greg Norman was spotted on the fairways of Augusta National on Wednesday on the eve of the 2024 Masters.

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm

Greg Norman was spotted on the Augusta National fairways ahead of the 2024 Masters

The LIV Golf chairman was seen talking to a number of breakaway tour players and Australian stars. 

Norman, 69, exchanged pleasantries with the likes of Adam Scott, Jason Day and the injured Min Woo Lee. 

Reports surfaced earlier in the week that high-ranking officials from LIV and the PIF of Saudi Arabia, which bankrolls the tour, were invited

It was widely assumed at least one of those invitations was extended to Norman, who twice finished runner-up in the Masters.

The other was thought to be for LIV's mastermind and powerful Saudi businessman Yasir Al-Rumayyan

Two-time Open champion Norman revealed to Telegraph Sport last year Augusta National chiefs chose not to invite him to last year's major. 

He said: "Funnily enough, I haven’t been invited. 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, memorably, was also snubbed an invite to the landmark 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews owing to the LIV Golf fallout. 

Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia
Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia

The Great White Shark lashed out at the Royal & Ancient for that decision, but tournament chiefs insisted they wanted the focus to be on the golf and not the LIV sideshow. 

Norman had spent the months leading up to the Open talking up his chances of playing in the major one last time despite his exemption running out. 

Much has changed in the landscape of men's professional golf over the last 12 months after the established tours and LIV Golf announced a vague framework agreement last June. 

It was hoped the commercial assets of all the tours would fall under the umbrella of PGA Tour Enterprises but the deal is yet to be consummated. 

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley attempted to extend an olive branch to LIV players during his news conference on Wednesday.

Ridley said Augusta National chiefs will always extend invitations to those they deem worthy. 

"Our goal is to have, to the greatest extent possible, the best field in golf, the best players in the world," he said. 

"Having said that, we never have had all the best players in the world because of the structure of our tournament. 

"It's an invitational. It's limited field, it's a small field.

"We've always honored our past champions, many of whom, some of whom, I should say, would not necessarily be in an open competition, but they add a lot to this tournament. 

"They're a part of our history. Last night [past champions dinner] was one of the most magical nights I've ever been involved in in golf. 

"Listening to these great champions talk about what the Masters means to them.

"We also honor amateurs. We would normally have seven amateurs in the field but for a couple of great players who decided to turn pro. 

"So we're a little bit different situation. But we do have that flexibility, as I mentioned earlier, and I would not foreclose that we would consider that, you know, in the future."

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm

LIV have significant representation at the 2024 Masters, with 13 golfers teeing it up. 

Their biggest hopes for success include the likes of defending champion Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka. 

Rahm made an outlandish claim in his pre-tournament news conference after he stated he hoped his move to LIV would have been a catalyst in unifying the game. 

Koepka was also asked about a famous rules controversy and his response raised more questions than answers. 

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