Date: March 19, 2014
Author: Martin Blake /

Shark: I’ve played my last British Open

Greg Norman appears to have played his last British Open Championship. Winner of the Claret jug in 1986 and 1993, Norman has told a British newspaper that he will never again play the Open because of a spat over sponsorship, despite being eligible to play until St Andrews in 2015. “If you want the truth, I ve played in my last Open and it s all down to the way the Royal and Ancient and the European Tour have handled my whole situation,&apos&apos the Shark told the Daily Mail. “It has left a pretty sour taste in my mouth, a bad feeling after what I have done in the game. I ve nothing against the R&A and the European Tour but, quite frankly, the way they go about their business is not the way I do it.&apos&apos The issue first cropped up at the 2012 Senior British Open at Turnberry. Norman believes one of the tournament&aposs sponsors, the Rolex watch company, prevented him from playing in the pro-am that week because he represents a competitor, Omega watches. While Rolex has publicly denied this, Norman also alleged that Rolex denied him entry to a media announcement by Europe&aposs Ryder Cup captain Jose-Maria Olazabal, a longtime friend, in the same year. Norman, 59, rarely plays nowadays anyway. But he is a profoundly popular figure in Open Championships, making a famous run at a third title as recently as 2008 at the age of 53. But he told the Daily Mail he would decline to play at Royal Liverpool this year and St Andrews in 2015, taking his wife Kirsten to his holiday ranch in Colorado instead. The Shark remains busy. He has been offered the lead analyst&aposs job at Fox Sports when that network takes over coverage of the United States Open from 2015, an arrangement made by fellow-Australian David Hill, who is a senior executive at Fox.