Norman to play Australian Open - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Norman to play Australian Open

By Robert Grant 10/05/2006 06:44:02 PM Comments (0)

Greg Norman is set to return to the Australian Open in November after an absence of five years.

It is understood Norman, 51, will be named on Thursday as the drawcard for the 2006 Open at Royal Sydney.

He has been coaxed back to play for the first time since 2000 when the five-times Open winner finished equal fifth behind Aaron Baddeley at Kingston Heath.

Norman, who is in Australia on business this week, will be present at Royal Sydney when Open chairman Paul McNamee unveils the first three marquee names for this year's event.

Norman won five Australian Open titles in 1980, 1985, 1987 and 1995-96.

His 86 career wins include British Open victories in 1986 and 1993 and 20 US PGA Tour wins, the last coming in 1997 with the NEC World Series of Golf.

Norman's last competitive appearance in Australia was in 2004 when he finished tied for 68th in the Heineken Classic and joint 17th in the Australian PGA Championship.

The former world No.1 was in Tasmania on Monday to launch the design of his first course there.

Situated near Orford on the state's scenic east coast, the 18-hole championship course is central to the wide-ranging $150 million Solis development.

The project will include 550 residential allotments, 60 eco-cabins, a visitor centre and museum, deep water jetty, health spa and retreat.

Norman said on his website he became entranced with the property the first time he walked the proposed course, expected to be in use in 18 months.

For the past few years, tournament golf has been relegated in Norman's priorities which have expanded to include a vast portfolio.

Norman is chairman and CEO of Great White Shark Enterprises which oversees a multi-national corporation with interests ranging from golf course design to turf and wine production.

He has made occasional appearances on the senior tour, finishing third last year in the Senior British Open and fourth in the US Senior Open.

He also finished in a tie for 60th in the British Open in 2005.

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