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Norman urges synergy for Aus golf bodies

POSTED ON September 17, 2018 @ 9:19 am

Greg Norman believes the struggling Australian summer of golf won’t consistently attract the world’s best players until the sport’s governing bodies stop competing with each other.

Two-time major champion Norman has criticised the disjointed ownership among Australian golf’s premier tournaments, which includes the PGA of Australia running the Australian PGA Championship and Golf Australia organising the Australian Open.

In previous years, the governing bodies have been accused of pitting their events against one another and trying to attract stars exclusively.

With this year’s events lacking crowd-drawing superstars such as recent Australian visitors Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, Norman says competition between stakeholders is not helping.

“It’s not; it never has been,” he told AAP in New York City.

“It’s always been this fight; a fight with the (now defunct) Australian Masters, with Australian Open, with the Australian PGA Championship, with the (defunct) Holden Classic.

“A collaborative effort (was attempted) for years but they could never do it; I don’t know why.

“I was in the middle of it for 25 or 30 years, and it’s crazy it still continues.”

Fans took to social media to express disappointment in the 28 top eligible players for November’s World Cup of Golf, when it was revealed on Thursday no golfer within the top 20 in the world rankings would contest the two-man teams event in Melbourne.

Australian world No.22 Marc Leishman will be the World Cup’s top-ranked player and he has chosen Cameron Smith as his partner.

The unofficial PGA Tour event was seen by many as a saviour for the summer, with Golf Australia yet to deliver on its July promise that the Open in Sydney would field two world top-10 players.

So far, the national championship’s only marquee signing is world No.32 and Ryder Cup Team USA vice-captain Matt Kuchar – who will also play at the World Cup alongside teammate Kyle Stanley.

Australian drawcards Jason Day and Adam Scott are expected not to feature in the November 15-18 event, which would be the first Open since 2008 without at least one of the former world No.1 golfers.

The Australian PGA Championship will enjoy a slightly better field due to its co-sanctioning with the European Tour.

The PGA has already confirmed Leishman’s attendance at Royal Pines Resort while last year’s champion Smith is set to defend his title and Scott is expected to also tee up.

Norman says he has not been approached for advice on improving summer of golf.

“We’ve never been asked,” he said.

Source: nine

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