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Surgery saved Greg Norman's career

Greg Norman might have been forced to retire from competitive golf but for the revolutionary hip surgery he underwent earlier this year.

The Great White Shark had suffered from the problem for years but put off the operation until a new treatment became available. And the 45-year-old Australian has no regrets about waiting, even though it meant missing the Open at St Andrews.

"If I'd had the operation three years ago I might have never come back to play golf," the double Open champion said. "They would have had to cut into my hip quite deeply, right into the muscles and it would have been six to nine months recovery minimum, maybe 12 months, maybe never.

"But this new treatment uses a new arthroscope which is very flexible - it can bend round and come back on itself - and it makes everything much quicker.

Greg Norman in action. Allsport.

"I was back three weeks early because I threw away my crutches and made an effort to walk on it more. It lifted a huge burden off my mind, once the pain was taken away I could get back to practising and playing.

"I'm looking forward to getting back into the winner's circle now. It would be the final tonic I need to really kick me along for many years to come.

"I still have the determination and the desire to want to do it. I just have a lot of other things in my life, unlike Tiger Woods, who is just playing golf."

Speaking of Woods, Norman admits to being frustrated by the saturation coverage given over to the world No 1 during his extraordinary run of form.

"I get disappointed the way the media is making it a Tiger Woods show, when it isn't," Norman added. "His game his phenomenal and personally I like to see it, but unless you're in Tiger's group, or around his draw time, you don't get on television.

"I'm sure Tiger does not want that to happen either, he would like to see fairness across the board and respect for all players."

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