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Rory McIlroy on Greg Norman being uninvited from events: ‘Right decision’


ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Rory McIlroy called The Open at St. Andrews the “holy grail of our sport,” that must be protected from distraction.

Actually, the latter is a bit of supposition based on McIlroy’s comments regarding the R&A’s decision to not invite Greg Norman to this week’s championship. The two-time Open champion and CEO of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league was not allowed to play Monday’s Celebration of Champions event or attend the Champions’ Dinner.

“It’s The 150th Open Championship, and that’s what we need to focus on. I think the focus would have been taken away a little bit if he’d have been here,” McIlroy said Tuesday at St. Andrews. “I supported that decision, and I think right now, because of everything that’s happening in the golf world, I think it was the right decision to be made.”

McIlroy did offer some room for reconciliation, telling reporters that he could be welcomed back to The Open “if things change in the future.”

McIlroy was also asked about his comments last week that appeared to alter his position on LIV Golf. The Northern Irishman has been an outspoken critic of the start-up league, and Norman, but he told reporters last week at the J.P McManus Pro-Am that “everyone has to try and come together a little bit more.” On Tuesday, McIlroy balked at the notion that his comments last week in Ireland were “contradictory.”