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Greg Norman buys £20million yacht

Greg Norman says his purchase of a luxury motor yacht worth almost $50 million is not a sign that his golfing career is winding down.

Norman, who flew into Perth yesterday to announce his purchase of the custom-built 64.65m boat from Australian shipbuilder Oceanfast, said his latest acquisition, which is expected to be finished in 2002 and will be called Aussie Rules, wasn't going to keep him off the golf course.

Although Norman already controls a burgeoning business empire, Great White Shark Enterprises, that employs over 100 people and plans to use his new state-of-the-art cruiser to visit exotic locations such as the Amazon and the Antarctic with his wife and two children, he said tournament golf would continue to play a very important part in his life.

The former world No. 1 and winner of 74 tournaments, Norman is happy with the way his game has been developing in recent months, as he continues along the comeback trail following major shoulder surgery almost two years ago.

Having warned in January that he would give the game away if he wasn't satisfied with his performances over the next 12 months, Norman yesterday declared he was making good progress and dismissed thoughts of retirement.

Norman said he had settled on a steady annual schedule of 15 to 18 tournaments in the US, Australia and Europe.

"My game has been very solid," he said. "Every time I've played, I've felt like I've played three very good rounds and one so-so round.

"Ball-striking wise, I feel like I'm hitting the ball better than I have since the surgery.

"It is a process that takes time, but I'm very happy with the way things are going."

Norman's last tournament victory came in the World Series of Golf in 1997, when a final-round 67 earned him a four-stroke win.

In April 1998, he had surgery on his right shoulder.

Seven months of rehabilitation followed and although he teamed with Steve Elkington to win the Shark Shootout and was a member of the victorious President's Cup team, he hasn't yet been able to sustain the form that took him to the top.

"I was playing the other day and I got very upset with myself because I wasn't getting results out of my game," he said. "I walked off ropeable and my caddy, Tony Navarro, said . . . that my reaction told him that I was on the way back, that the internal fire was still there."

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