Skip to content

The Masters: LIV commissioner Greg Norman not invited to Augusta National

Greg Norman, who finished runner-up in The Masters three times and blew a six-shot lead in 1996, would usually be invited as a former major champion; Fred Ridley explained his decision during his pre-tournament press conference at Augusta National

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Augusta national chairman Fred Ridley says Greg Norman was not invited to Augusta this year in order to keep the focus on The Masters and not LIV golf

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley says ‘keeping focus on the competition’ was the reason behind the decision not to invite LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman to The Masters.

There are 18 LIV golfers in the field for the opening major of the year, including six former Masters champions, although Norman has not been welcomed back to attend as a past major winner.

Norman - who described the decision last week as 'petty' - also failed to receive an invite to The Open last summer at St Andrews, with Ridley defending the actions and insisting the move was to help keep attention on The Masters itself.

"We did not extend an invitation to Mr Norman," Ridley said in his traditional pre-tournament press conference at The Masters. "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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Dustin Johnson says there's no difference between this year's Masters and previous years, as both LIV Golf and PGA Tour players prepare to play in the tournament.

"By our decision in December, 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."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Brooks Koepka says that a LIV Masters winner would be a huge statement for the breakaway tour.

Augusta National confirmed in December that LIV players would continue to play in The Masters under the current criteria, with tournament organisers saying then that their ultimate focus was to bring together "a pre-eminent field of golfers", while Ridley refused to confirm whether Norman would be invited back in the future.

Also See:

"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 added. "I would never say never, but I told you why he had not been invited this year.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Dame Laura Davies has welcomed the decision to allow golfers who joined LIV Golf to play at The Masters in 2023.

"The tone has been really good here this week. I've noticed the players are interacting. Last night at the Champions Dinner, I would not have known that anything was going on in the world of professional golf other than the norm.

"I think, and I'm hopeful, that this week might get people thinking in a little bit different direction and things will change."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Rory McIlroy has played down the ongoing feud between golf's competing tours and thinks it is great that the best players in the world will all compete at The Masters.

What changes will be made to The Masters field in 2024?

The Masters tournament committee has confirmed how they will invite players for the 2024 contest, with LIV players still set to be able to feature should they fall within the qualification criteria.

No extra places have been allocated for those who joined LIV, with the only additional invitation criteria going to the winner of the NCAA Division One Men's Individual Champion.

"I think when you look at the changes that I mentioned that are going to be in place for 2024, they are fairly administrative," Ridley added. "We do look at our qualifications every year, but there are changes. Things are evolving, and we need to make sure that we are flexible in that regard."

Players ending the year inside the world's top 50 and those inside that number the week before The Masters will still get to feature, although the current lack of OWGR points on offer on the LIV circuit will make it harder for those players to remain within that ranking requirement.

The Masters - Live

The six former Masters champions on the LIV circuit will still hold lifetime exemptions and major winners within the previous five years will remain invited, with those who finish in the top 12 and ties in the 2023 contest getting to return next year.

The top four and ties in the other three majors will also be invited to the 2024 Masters, while PGA Tour winners at events offering a full-point allocation over the next 12 months and players who qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship also included the field.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Cameron Smith admits the fields in LIV Golf aren't as strong as on the PGA Tour but insists they still have a lot of players that can compete at the Masters.

When asked whether they would consider invites from other global tours, as opposed to just basing it on world rankings, Ridley added: "We really want to make sure that the Masters Tournament field is representative of the best players in the world, so we are constantly looking at those possibilities.

"Our conclusion for the time being is that the Official World Golf Rankings, it's a really good way to invite players. It's an objective criteria based on data-driven analytics and it's consistently applied. I think most would agree it's a good system."

Watch The Masters throughout the week live on Sky Sports! Live coverage of the opening round begins on Thursday from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf, with a host of bonus feeds available via the red button.

Around Sky