'The boss is here': Greg Norman roars back at Augusta

A year after being persona non grata at Augusta National, Australian golf legend Greg Norman is back at the Masters, declaring "the boss is here" to cheer on his LIV stars.

Norman was stalking the fairways and wishing countryman Min Woo Lee good luck during Wednesday's traditional eve-of-tournament revelry. 

Twice a Masters runner-up and arguably the greatest player to never win a famous green jacket, Norman was not welcome at Augusta National last year because of his role as CEO of LIV Golf.

But the 69-year-old was adamant that he was pretty popular this year.

“Walking around here today, there’s not one person who said to me, ‘Why did you do LIV?’” Norman, wearing a LIV Golf branded shirt and signature Akubra hat, said in a brief interview with the Washington Post on the course. 

“There’s been hundreds of people, even security guys, stopping me, saying, ‘Hey, what you’re doing is fantastic.' 

"To me, that tells you that what we have and the platform fits within the ecosystem, and it’s good for the game of golf.”

Eighteen LIV golfers are in this year's 89-man field, including seven former Masters champions.

But only Adrian Meronk and Englishman Tyrrell Hatton qualified through the Official World Rankings, which LIV players don't receive on the Saudi-backed tour.

Despite not meeting normal entry criteria, Chile's Joaquin Niemann was invited by Augusta National because of his victory at last year's Australian Open in Sydney.

"I think there’s probably a couple (of LIV players) that have been overlooked that should be in," said Norman, who is reportedly attending the Masters as a ticketed patron.

"What is that number? I’m not going to give it a definitive number, but they’re definitely quality players that have done incredible performances over the last six to nine months that are worthy of it.

“I'm here because we have 13 players that won 10 Masters between them, so I'm here just to support them, do the best I can to show them, ‘Hey, you know, the boss is here rooting for you'."

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley last year said "never say never" when asked if the former world No.1 would ever be welcome back to the season's first major championship.

Norman's back
LIV boss Norman reckoned the patrons at Augusta were pretty pleased to see him again.

"It’s hard to answer that question because I don’t know where the world is going to be next year or two years from now," Ridley said.

“The primary issue and the driver there is that I want the focus this week to be on the Masters competition, on the great players that are participating, the greatest players in the world.

“By our decision in December (to allow LIV golfers to play), we ensured that we were going to honour and be consistent with our invitation criteria.

“I would also add that, in the last 10 years, Greg Norman has only been here twice, and I believe one of those was as a commentator for Sirius Radio.

“It really was to keep the focus on the competition.”

Also not invited to the landmark 150th British Open at St Andrews in 2022 despite being a two-time winner of the Claret Jug, Norman described last year's snubbing as "petty".

“As a major winner I always was before, but they only sent me a grounds pass last year and nothing, zilch, this time around,” said the Australian. “I’m disappointed because it’s so petty but of course I’ll still be watching.”

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store