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Norman slates Appleby Over Sun City

Greg Norman criticized fellow Australian Stuart Appleby today for his late withdrawal from the Australian PGA Championship to play in the more lucrative Sun City tournament in South Africa.

Appleby waited until Sunday night to notify surprised Australasian PGA Tour officials of his decision not to play at Royal Queensland.

"I said last year I never wanted to talk about a player's schedule,'' Norman said. "What a player does is what a player does. If you decide not to play an Australian tournament when you do your schedule, that is your decision.

"If you decided a month ago to play South Africa and not the PGA, that is your decision.

"But if you decide to play the PGA and then change, that's a different story ... I have a problem when you commit and don't honor that commitment.''

Norman has thrown the financial weight of his company, Great White Shark Enterprises, behind the Australian PGA in a bid to save the tournament. Appleby accepted a late invitation to replace American Jim Furyk in the 12-man field in South Africa.

Norman said Appleby put the promoters of the PGA, starting Thursday, in a "bit of a pickle.''

"From a businessmen's point of view I'm very disappointed.'' Norman said.

Norman said when he pulled out of the Memorial Tournament this year when it went into an extra day and he had a prior commitment to meet with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and another state legislator, he called tournament host Jack Nicklaus and told him personally.

"My word is my bond,'' Norman said. "If I can't keep it, I make sure I go through the process of telling the individual.''


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