[PHOTO: J.D. Cuban]

Greg Norman caused quite the stir on the grounds of Augusta National earlier this week. Just ask him and he’ll tell you.

The LIV Golf chief executive was initially spotted on Wednesday during the Masters Par 3 Contest, walking outside the ropes and supporting a number of players on the LIV Golf roster. Norman’s son, Greg Norman Jnr, then took to Twitter on Thursday to say that his father paid for a ticket on the secondary market because he was denied one after going through “the proper professional channels”.

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Norman spent three days at the 2024 Masters, and he posted about the experience on his Instagram account on Sunday morning.

“The few days I spent at Augusta walking for the first time ever behind the ropes, embedded in heartbeat of golf – the patrons – were extremely powerful and poignant,” Norman said.

Norman went on to thank the patrons, as well as the security guards, carpark attendants, servers in the concession stands and the guys who control the crosswalks for their “unanimous support”. He said he was both humbled and moved by the experience and all the words of encouragement.

“I was taken aback,” he wrote. “‘Thank you for what you’ve done for golf,’ ‘Don’t stop,’ ‘Love LIV,’ and the one that got me personally and emotionally, ‘Welcome back.’

“My right hand is sore from shaking hands with each and every one of you as well as the hugs given to so many,” he added.

Norman was also denied a tournament pass in 2023. At the time, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said, “I want the focus this week to be on the Masters competition. I would also add that, in the past 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.”

This week, though, Norman would not be denied. At the end of his post on Sunday, he finished with an interesting message.

“Golf is golf and on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National healthy competition (which is the bedrock of America) resonated,” he said. “Thank you all for the three days of incredible and touching memories! And to the players contending the final round today, enjoy the purity of the game ahead, focus and play hard. Golf is always the winner!”