AUGUSTA, Ga. — LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman recently told media in Australia he didn’t think he would ever be invited back to the Masters tournament because of his leadership of the rival professional golf tour.
Typically, non-Masters winning major champions get a invited to attend the tournament. Norman, a two-time British Open winner, told The Telegraph he got grounds passes last year, but this year “zilch.”
Masters and Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley confirmed Wednesday that Norman wasn’t invited during his annual pre-tournament news conference.
“We did not extend an invitation to Mr. Norman,” Ridley said. “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.”
Ridley added he would “never say never” to inviting Norman back to the Masters, but noted that he had only attended the tournament twice in the past 10 years.
In other tournament-related matters, Ridley said Augusta National will build an off-site hospitality venue across Washington Road near the club’s famous Magnolia Lane entrance. Fans can register on Masters.com to receive more information when it becomes available in June.
Eyes on the skies
After a warm and sunny Wednesday and a slight chance of rain Thursday afternoon, a forecast of rain, cold and wind stalks the final three days of the Masters.
As much as two inches of rain could fall during the tournament, with temperatures falling from a high of 85 Thursday to a high of only 52 by Saturday. There’s a 70% chance of rain Friday, 90% Saturday and 50% Sunday.
Rain doesn’t mean the tournament will be interrupted, however. Play can continue if there’s no lightning in the area and if water doesn’t pool on the greens or fairways. All 18 greens at Augusta National have a SubAir system beneath them which can pull moisture out of the putting surfaces and expel it through vents nearby.
The goal is to avoid a Monday finish. The Masters hasn’t failed to finish on Sunday since 1983.
Hoge wins Par-3 contest
Tom Hoge, the curse is now yours to break.
Hoge had a hole-in-one on No. 8 en route to winning Wednesday’s Par-3 contest with a 6-under par 21. It was the second-lowest winning score since the event started in 1960.
Hoge’s was one of five aces on the day. Seamus Power aced both No. 8 and No. 9, the third time a player made consecutive holes-in-one in the Par-3 contest.
“Obviously to get one was special,” Power said, “but to get the second one was a bit surreal.”
Hoge now tries to do what’s never been done: win the Par-3 contest and the Masters in the same year.
The event was played on a mostly new Par-3 course. Between the 2022 and 2023 Masters, Augusta National renovated and rerouted the first five holes and added concession and fan support facilities.
Source : Nola