One year after facing exclusion from Augusta National, the esteemed Australian golf figure, Greg Norman, graces the Masters once again, heralding his presence with a declaration: “the boss is here,” as he stands in support of his LIV stars.

Norman strides the fairways, extending well-wishes to compatriot Min Woo Lee amidst the customary pre-tournament festivities on Wednesday.

Having twice tasted the sting of runner-up at the Masters, Norman, often lauded as one of the game’s greatest to have never donned the illustrious green jacket, found himself unwelcome last year due to his role as CEO of LIV Golf. However, this time around, the 69-year-old asserts his renewed acceptance.

Sporting a LIV Golf branded shirt and his signature Akubra hat, Norman affirms in a brief exchange with the Washington Post on the grounds, “Walking around here today, there’s not one person who said to me, ‘Why did you do LIV?’ There’s been hundreds of people, even security guys, stopping me, saying, ‘Hey, what you’re doing is fantastic.'”

Norman’s conviction in the reception underscores his belief that LIV Golf’s endeavors align favorably within the golfing ecosystem, amplifying the game’s appeal.

Thirteen LIV-affiliated golfers grace this year’s 89-man field, including seven past Masters champions. However, only Adrian Meronk and Tyrrell Hatton qualified through conventional world rankings, a privilege not extended to LIV players on the Saudi-backed circuit.

Despite this, Joaquin Niemann, champion of last year’s Australian Open, secures an invitation from Augusta National, emphasizing the tournament’s recognition of outstanding performance.

Norman voices his belief that certain LIV players, overlooked in the selection process, merit inclusion, citing their exceptional recent performances. “I’m here because we have 13 players that won 10 Masters between them, so I’m here just to support them, do the best I can to show them, ‘Hey, you know, the boss is here rooting for you’,” Norman asserts.

Addressing last year’s exclusion and speculation about his future presence, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley remains open-minded. He emphasizes the desire to maintain focus on the Masters competition while upholding invitation criteria.

Norman’s absence from the 150th British Open at St Andrews in 2022, despite being a two-time champion, incited disappointment, labeling the gesture as “petty.” Nevertheless, his commitment to the sport remains resolute, even amidst perceived slights.