Adam Scott says Greg Norman should have been allowed to play in to a past champions exhibition at the 150th Open Championship, after the Shark was snubbed by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.
Norman, a two-time winner of the Open, was not invited to the Celebration of Champions exhibition on Monday at the famed Old Course. Past Open champions such as Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen and Rory McIlroy played in the exhibition.
The R&A said the reason for not inviting Norman, now the chief executive of LIV Golf, was to allow the focus to be on the 150th staging of golf’s oldest Major and not Saudi Arabia-financed rival tour.
While the R&A were justified to not want Norman present due to a potential media circus and questions about his breakaway tour, Scott said Norman should still have taken part.
“I tend to think yes (Norman should have been here), is my first instinct,” Scott said on the 18th green at St Andrews on Wednesday. “I know everyone’s bent out of shape a little bit about what’s going on but I tend to think yes overall. It’s a never ending discussion and I’m not going to give you my reasons for why I think that, but that’s my first instinct. He may have upset some upset the golfing world (but he should’ve been invited).”
When Norman, who won the Open in 1986 and 1993, was informed he was not welcome via a letter last week, the former world No.1 released a statement to this publication that the move was “petty” and that the R&A should have risen above the controversy.
Scott said Norman’s reaction was accurate.
“That’s a fair comment, yeah … I guess we’re dealing with something that we’ve not dealt with before and everyone’s learning this (as we go along),” he said.
Scott is one of 11 Australians in the field for the Open Championship.