Jack Nicklaus issues response to Greg Norman Open snub after being labeled a hypocrite

PGA Tour suspends players participating in LIV Golf series

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The legendary Jack Nicklaus has broken his silence after being labelled a ‘hypocrite’ by LIV Golf chief Greg Norman. The Australian took aim at the 18-time major winner after he publicly voiced his support for the PGA Tour, claiming Nicklaus had previously told him the rebel tour was ‘good for the game of golf’.

Tensions between Norman, 67, and the status quo heightened further this month when he was barred from this week’s 150th British Open anniversary celebrations at St Andrews. The series of events, to which all other former Open champions have been invited, are forming part of the build-up to this year’s tournament which starts at St Andrews on Thursday.

Norman has labelled the R&A ‘petty’ for their stance, but in a released statement, the organisation said: “We can confirm that we contacted Greg Norman to advise him that we decided not to invite him to attend on this occasion. The 150th Open is an extremely important milestone for golf and we want to ensure that the focus remains on celebrating the Championship and its heritage.

“Unfortunately, we do not believe that would be the case if Greg were to attend. We hope that when circumstances allow Greg will be able to attend again in future.” Nicklaus, 82, is one of those to have traveled to Scotland, and was asked by reporters on Monday what he thought of Norman’s absence.

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“I really don’t know anything about what they did,” he replied, before being pushed further on the controversy. “Let me just sum this up with a couple of words,” he said. “First of all, Greg Norman is an icon in the game of golf. He’s a great player.

“We’ve been friends for a long time, and regardless of what happens, he’s going to remain a friend.” But ‘The Golden Bear’ then admitted he didn’t agree with Norman’s recent actions, adding: “Unfortunately, he and I just don’t see eye to eye in what’s going on. I’ll basically leave it at that.”

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Regardless, Norman has continued to ruffle feathers after initially looking like he would struggle to attract star power. After the defections of players like Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickleson, following the US Open, Brooks Koepka became the latest star to switch over from the PGA Tour.

And despite an attempt to ban rebels from events, another rebel in Ian Poulter was permitted to play the Scottish Open after successfully taking legal action. Norman has previously promised to pay the legal fees of any players who want to battle sanctions imposed by the PGA or DP World Tours.

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