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‘LIV boss’ Greg Norman obliged to pay for Masters ticket … despite 13 breakaway players in field

Gary Player in a sweat about pumped-up golfers; Masters success a financial and tournament windfall; and that numbers game

Of course, if he’d won a green jacket, there would have been no need to desperately seek out a ticket.

Greg Norman — a three-time runner-up in nine career top-10s at the Masters — apparently had to source a ticket for this 88th edition through what his son, Greg jnr, on social media, called the “secondary market” after the LIV chief seemingly failed to acquire one.

“My dad paid for a ticket on the secondary market to attend the Masters as a patron … it was an amazing experience, hundreds of golf fans approached him walking outside the ropes. All positive support of him and LIV,” said the son of the Great White Shark’s visit, replete with trademark straw hat, on Wednesday.

Question is? Why did he not get a guest ticket from one of the 13 LIV players in the field, all entitled to access or buy a number for their guests?


In a short answer to his attendance, Norman told the Washington Post: “I’m here because we have 13 players that won 10 Masters between them. So, I’m here just to support them, do the best I can to show them, ‘hey, you know, the boss is here rooting for you’.”

Norman was last at the Masters in 2021, before the LIV Golf’s eventual arrival on to the men’s professional scene, when he was a radio analyst.

Player frets about distance

Did you know that Rory McIlroy can dead lift 400lb? He can, apparently. And we know this because McIlroy showed Gary Player a video of him doing so.

All of which was used by Player — no stranger to the gym himself, even at the age of 88 — to argue that there should be some way to claw back the distance on how far players can hit the golf ball.

“[If] you look at the tour, in 30 years, plus, minus, they will all hit the ball 400 yards because there’s such great incentivisation. They are going around the college, gyms now doing weight training … and this is where we need the R&A and the USGA and the PGA to get together wisely in making a decision about a golf ball because nothing about the game today, not one single thing, is the same as when we played. Not one single thing.

“They have to cut that ball back, I don’t know what’s going to happen. They talk about making golf courses longer. The world is running out of water, seriously, and the costs of the machine, the mower, fertiliser, labour. Why do that? It’s so simple, cut the ball back. Very, very simple.”

Green jackets and greenbacks

Whoever manages to win this 88th edition of the Masters will receive many benefits beyond the glory itself.

He will receive a trophy of the clubhouse and a green jacket for his wardrobe. That jacket can be worn anywhere by the champion for the year, after which it can only be worn on the grounds of Augusta National.

He will earn a lifetime exemption into future tournaments.

He will be assured of five-year exemptions into the other three Majors: the US PGA, the US Open and the Open championship.

He will receive a gold medal memento and a replica Masters trophy.

He will receive honorary membership of Augusta National.

And he will earn a pay-day of some $3.25 million (€3 million) which was won by Jon Rahm last year. The prize fund for this year has to be confirmed.

By the Numbers: 5

There are five amateurs in the field for this 88th edition of the Masters: Neal Shipley, Stewart Hagestad, Christo Lamprecht, Jasper Stubbs and Santiago de la Fuente. There would have been six if Nick Dunlap had remained amateur, but last year’s US amateur champion turned professional after winning the American Express Championship on the PGA Tour (as an amateur) earlier this year.

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times