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Golf Today 30th March
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Greg Norman about to join players union

Greg Norman is on the verge of joining the US PGA Tour's players union, known as the Tournament Players Association.

The fledgling association, founded two years ago by former tour player Danny Edwards, claims that despite the huge increase in prizemoney over recent years, the US Tour's financial records are not fully available for the players to peruse.

While the TPA has signed up several journeymen, the only really high-profile player to join has been Tom Lehman, the 1996 British Open champion.

But this seems about to change with Norman's announcement that he is almost ready to come aboard.

Norman crossed swords with Tour commissioner Tim Finchem over the aborted world tour a few years ago, and it seems the two-time British Open champion is not afraid of another battle.

"The TPA shows a lot of merit," said Norman, who will contest the Atlanta BellSouth Classic at a course he designed, the Sugarloaf TPC starting tomorrow.

"The tour is us. It's our business. We have every right to review what we need to review. There's no reason why we shouldn't be allowed to see our numbers.

"When we don't get that permission given to us then obviously there's a reason. I think the players would be in a win-win situation if the TPA could get up and going.

"I just find it sad that some people are against it. It's the control factor again.

"You've got to understand the PGA Tour and the administrative staff work for us. We don't work for them. We can't lose sight of that.

"That's why the TPA is making a valid point about asking to look up your skirts. It's our skirt you're looking up."

But even while Norman is considering joining, it appears Lehman's influence has won a concession from the tour, because Finchem has agreed to meet with the TPA after next week's Masters, although he is yet to offer the association access to the tour's complete financial records.

Norman also blasted the US Tour, and Finchem personally, for fighting the court ruling allowing disabled golfer Casey Martin to ride a cart.

The US district court which considered the case came down in favour of Martin, and the tour's only recourse now is to ask the Supreme Court to consider the matter.

However, Norman argues the tour should drop the matter and willingly let Martin, who has a withered right leg, ride.

"It's a sad case," Norman said. "I don't understand why we keep pursuing it. I know if it was my son I'd be fighting like hell for him to play.

"For them to get their head up their butt on this issue really goes against my grain. To say it's not about Casey Martin is very unfair because there's nobody else out there in that situation."

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