Augusta National Chief Fred Ridley Explains Greg Norman Masters Snub

The LIV CEO was not invited to this year's Masters, calling the move "petty"

Fred Ridley and Greg Norman
(Image credit: Future)

There are 18 LIV Golfers in the Masters field this week but notably the Saudi-backed circuit's CEO is not on-site to watch his players around the famed Augusta National.

Norman, one of the best players to never win The Masters, noted to The Telegraph that he did not receive an invitation this year despite previously getting invited to Augusta as a past Major champion.

Norman described the lack of an invite as "petty".

“Funnily enough, I haven’t been invited,” Norman told Telegraph Sport. “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 was also not invited to the 150th Open last year, with R&A CEO Martin Slumbers saying that the LIV CEO being at the championship would have been a "distraction".

Fred Ridley, CEO of Augusta National, has given a very similar reason to Slumbers as to why Norman was not invited to this year's Masters.

We did not extend an invitation to Mr. Norman," Ridley confirmed.

"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, which, by our decision in December, we ensured that we were going to honor and be consistent with our invitation criteria.

"I would also add that, in the last ten 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."

Greg Norman commentating on the 2021 Masters

Norman was last at Augusta National in 2021, when he commentated for SiriusXM radio during Hideki Matsuyama's victory

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ridley couldn't hide his distain for LIV Golf in December when confirming that its players who had already qualified would still be eligible for this week's tournament.

"Regrettably, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it," he said. "Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent field of golfers this coming April."

A number of LIV players have won The Masters, including Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, but none of the circuit's players feature in featured groups during the opening round.

This week's 87th Masters is the first time since July's Open Championship where the best PGA Tour and LIV Golf players will lock horns. 

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5