Norman clocked by sponsor snub

Two-time British Open champion Greg Norman declared he’d never been more insulted in his life after being refused entry to hear long-time friend and colleague, Jose Maria Olazabal announce his two European Team ‘wildcard’ picks recently.

Norman was at Gleneagles to host a Johnnie Walker-sponsored clinic before heading for Switzerland to play in the European Tour’s Omega European Masters.

Greg Norman Greg Norman (Credit: Anthony Powter)

With heavy rain keeping everyone inside, Norman found himself in the hotel about the same time his friend and colleague of 30-years was confirming Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts were his two Ryder Cup wildcard picks.

Norman is currently an ambassador for Omega whereas Swiss wrist watch rival, Rolex was one of five main sponsors, along with Johnnie Walker, of the European Ryder Cup Team.

For that reason the champion Australian, who also spent more than 300 weeks at World No. 1, was told in no uncertain terms his presence was not welcome at the announcement.

“It’s a long story but Rolex just wouldn’t allow me to be present in the room,” said Norman.

“What was annoying is that Jose Maria and I have been mates for 30 years. He later came up to me to apologise for what happened.

“He just wanted to know that it wasn’t him who didn’t want me in the press conference.”

“Of course, I was in Scotland for Johnnie Walker and they’re one of the Ryder Cup and Tour sponsors.”

“So it’s a deep and ugly story. I’m disgusted by it all and it’s never ever happened before in my entire life.”