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Norman happy with comeback after surgery

Even Greg Norman's biggest critics would admit what he did at the International tournament in Denver, Colorado, was nothing short of brilliant.

"To come back and do what I did, on a scale of one to 10, I'd give myself a 9.8," Norman said.

The Shark finished fourth behind South African Ernie Els at Castle Pines yesterday in his return to competition just five weeks after hip surgery.

Pain-free for the first time in years, he looked like his old self.

At 45, he could be excused for fading quietly into the sunset, but Norman admitted that all the riches in the world didn't give him as much charge as being in contention.

"That's what you strive for, that flow of adrenalin," he said. "Once you get fired up it feels great, the juices flowing, the gallery, the excitement."

This performance will do Norman's confidence no end of good as he heads into the PGA Championship which starts at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday week.

"The most positive thing is I didn't have one twinge or doubt in my mind about my hip," he said. "It felt great, just allowed me to play golf."

Greg Norman - back to full fitness. Allsport.

World No.2 Els was never seriously challenged in the final round as he shot a three-under 69 to finish on 48 points, matching the tournament record score in the modified stableford format.

Els finished four points clear of American Phil Mickelson, while Stuart Appleby, heading a trio of Australians in the chasing pack, eagled the 17th hole to secure third place on 41 points.

Norman was fourth on 38 points while Victorian Craig Spence was fifth on 32 points, his best finish on the US Tour.

Els has now finished second, first, second and first in his past four events worldwide.

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