Greg Norman gave a hard and fast "No" when he was asked if he was going to play in the British Open this year. In his interview with the BBC, the '86 and '93 British Open Champion gave a few reasons for not teeing it up at St. Andrews in July.
The first reason is pretty simple:
"I don't practice anymore."
While Norman says that he still plays a little, he suspects it's not enough to prepare him to play well at St. Andrews. And he's probably right. In the weeks leading up to the Open he'll be an analyst at the U.S. Open and the Senior Open for Fox, so he'll have little time to practice. Standing on the first tee at St. Andrews thinking "I haven't touched a club in weeks" is probably not a recipe for success.
His second reason for not playing in the British Open is a bit more nuanced.
"I'm not going to walk up to the first tee and feel like I'm taking the space of a young kid who could learn a heck of a lot more from it. I don't believe in doing that. I think it's so unfair to do that."
Norman makes it clear that he's grateful for the chance to play and for how much support he receives for his successes in the past, but he thinks it's more important for him to support the future than to ceremoniously tee it up in honor of his past victories.
"There's a young kid who may be qualifying for the Open that could take my spot and could be the next Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Tiger Woods -- you don't know."
Video of the BBC interview can be found here.