FORMER television personality and politician, Derryn Hinch, would often end a story with the words, “shame, shame, shame” after someone had been wronged.

Well, shame on the Royal and Ancient Golf Club for barring Greg Norman, a two-time Open Championship winner, from attending the traditional champions’ dinner at the 150th Open played at St Andrews.

And in the words of the Shark, it was petty and disappointing.

Not everyone is going to agree with Norman’s support for the Saudi-backed LIV golf series, but hitting him out of bounds was rather harsh.

Yet LIV Tour players Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Ian Poulter and others were allowed to play and Mickelson, the winner of the 2013 Claret Jug, was invited to attend the champions’ dinner.

He said he was advised against attending the dinner and stayed away.

Greg Norman left out in the cold.

Of course, the R&A defended its decision to ban the Shark from attending.

R&A boss Martin Slumbers told the media it (150th Open Championship) was an important week for golf.

“We decided we didn’t want the distraction,” he said. “We wanted to ensure that the conversation was all about this week and playing golf and balls in the air.”

Perhaps he misread the room because the conversation was all about the Shark’s ban and the LIV series.

And then there was the poor behaviour from so-called fans of golf. Ian Poulter and others were booed and jeered on the first tee.

It wasn’t that long ago they were cheering him on at the Ryder Cup.

Let’s hope the silliness didn’t overshadow Cameron Smith’s wonderful victory. 

And how good would it have been if Norman, who won the Claret Jug 29 years ago, was there to congratulate Smith – the man Norman picked to win the championship.

Decision on LIV Tour players pending

By Michael Davis

AUSTRALIAN golf’s governing bodies are yet to make a final decision on whether or not players who have defected to the LIV Tour will be banned from playing in our big events – the Australian PGA and the Australian Open – at the end of the year.

It would seem for the moment, however, that local golf bodies are remaining silent in order to see how things pan out over the next couple of months.

What does seem certain, however, is that Australia will not want to rock the boat with the establishment golf bodies after working hard to cultivate stronger ties with them recently.

The European and Australian tours have just signed a deal which will see the Australian PGA and the Australian Open co-sanctioned events from this year. 

As well, the top three players on our order of merit will receive full cards for the following year in Europe. It used to be only one.

Australia also has a strong relationship with the US PGA Tour’s secondary Korn Ferry Tour.

But as it stands, Australian LIV players haven’t done anything that conflicts with our local tour, so they’re not subject to any bans at this point. 

Matt Jones, for instance, is suspended by the US PGA Tour, but if he wanted to play the Australian Open, there is nothing to stop him doing so.

PGA Tour to increase prize purses

THE PGA Tour will make significant changes to its calendar-year schedule, increase prize money for eight tournaments and have revised fields for the FedEx Cup playoffs.

And the changes will include up to three no-cut, limited-field international events.

Commissioner Jay Monahan announced the changes, made in conjunction with the Policy Board and Player Directors at a press conference.

Alongside these changes, the Policy Board also amended the Resource Allocation Plan to increase purse sizes at the following eight events in 2023:

The FedExCup playoffs will feature revised field sizes starting next year. The top 70 will make the first event of the playoffs, the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis. 

The top 50 will make the BMW Championship, and the top 30, as usual, will compete for the FedExCup at the TOUR Championship at East Lake.

The 70 players who qualify for the first Playoffs event will be fully exempt for the following season, including invitationals. Anyone outside that cutoff can improve his status in the fall events, at the conclusion of which the top 125 will be fully exempt for the following season.

• Sentry Tournament of Champions – $15 million (up from $8.2M in 2022);

• The Genesis Invitational – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022);

• Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022);

• THE PLAYERS Championship – $25 million (up from $20 million in 2022);

• WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022);

• the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022);

• FedEx St. Jude Championship – $20 million (up from $15 million in 2022); and

• BMW Championship – $20 million (up from $15 million in 2022).

About David Newbery

Chief writer David Newbery has been living, breathing and writing and editing golf for more than 30 years. His extensive knowledge of the game comes from covering golf around the world. Hired by Inside Golf in 2009, David previously worked as the editor of The Golfer for 25 years and before that worked for numerous daily newspapers in Australia and overseas. The Brisbane-based journalist describes his golf game as “a work in progress”, but has had the privilege of playing golf with some of the game’s best players including nine-time major winner Gary Player. David enjoys travelling, reading, music, photography and spending time with family and friends – on and off the golf course.

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