Greg Norman leaves golf world in shock after comeback announcement

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Greg Norman, pictured here at the British Open in 1993.
Greg Norman has revealed he wants to come out of retirement to play the British Open. Image: Getty

Aussie legend Greg Norman has stunned the golf world after announcing his intentions to come out of retirement and play the British Open.

The 67-year-old hasn't played professionally for 10 years, however he told News Corp on Saturday that he wants to play The Open in July in a one-off farewell event.

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“I’m filling out my entry form now, I think I’m going,” Norman said.

Norman has won The Open twice before but no longer qualifies for automatic entry as a past champion because he is over the age of 60.

He will have to earn his spot through qualifying or receive a special exemption in order to play.

However there is precedent of The Open bending the rules for former champions, with Tom Watson granted entry at the age of 65 in 2014.

Norman famously won the Claret Jug in 1986 and 1993 and tied-for third in 2008 having held the third-round lead at the age of 53.

He said he is drawn to the event because it will be celebrating 150 years in 2022.

“I think I can still get in,” he said. “It’s the 150th. I’m a past Open Champion. I love St Andrews.

"If there's a moment in time that I would consider going back and teeing off one last time. Maybe this is it."

The last time Norman played for world ranking points was in 2012 at the Australian PGA Championship.

Greg Norman, pictured here receiving the Claret Jug after winning the 122nd Open Championship in 1993.
Greg Norman receives the Claret Jug after winning the 122nd Open Championship in 1993. (Photo by R&A via Getty Images)

The last time he played a major was the 2009 Open at Turnberry.

The golf world was left blown away by the development.

"It would be an incredible story, but there is one MASSIVE roadblock," golf journalist Evan Priest wrote on Twitter, referencing the cut-off for past champions being 60.

Golf commentator Luke Elvy tweeted: “This will get the news cycle pumping.

“Most will use it to bag Greg given the LIV Golf venture, but he’s earned his spot in the field having won two Claret Jugs.

"Who wouldn’t want to play in the 150th Open at the home of golf?”

Greg Norman at centre of Saudi Arabia controversy

Norman is at the centre of controversy in the golf world over his involvement with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Norman is pressing forward with the venture despite the intense public criticism of Phil Mickelson's connections to the project, and indicated to The UK Telegraph that he will be formally announcing "marquee names" that will join the tour in the coming weeks.

Norman's Super Golf League (SGL) has a reported war chest of around $3 billion to try and entice some of the best players and establish itself as a legitimate rival to the PGA Tour.

However the SGL was dealt a massive blow last month when some of the world's top players committed their futures to the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy declared the breakaway competition was "dead in the water".

Greg Norman, pictured here speaking to the media at the PIF Saudi International.
Greg Norman speaks to the media at the PIF Saudi International. (Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)

However Norman has remained steadfast and insists the new competition will speak for itself, regardless of which stars commit.

“Quite honestly, it doesn't matter who plays, we're going to put the event on,” Norman told the Telegraph.

“There's a $4 million first prize. I hope a kid who’s 350th in the world wins. It’ll change his life, his family’s life.

"And then a few of our events will go by and the top players will see someone winning $6 million, $8 million, and say, ‘Enough is enough, I know I can beat these guys week in, week out with my hands tied behind my back.’”

American Robert Garrigus reportedly asking for a release from the PGA Tour this week so he can play in the rebel competition's first event.

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