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Norman & Grady settle differences

Australian PGA Tour chairman Wayne Grady and Greg Norman "agreed to disagree" after a spirited annual general meeting of the body at Royal Queensland last night.

Norman, in town for the PGA Championship which starts tomorrow, attended the meeting after earlier refusing to enter a "slagging match" over grievances on the demise of the Greg Norman International and other issues related to the tour.

"I don't think it's fair to talk about the issues until I've spoken with Wayne," he said.

"You've got to know and understand both sides of the story before you get into any slagging match in the newspapers."

Norman aired the issues at a lengthy meeting where no changes were made to the PGA Tour's board of directors, despite reports Mike Clayton and Ian Baker-Finch were expected to quit.

"Greg and I may never see eye to eye on this (issues surrounding the cancellation of the Norman International), but that's fine," Grady said.

"I don't want to see it blown out of all proportion."

Norman and Grady, both major championship winners, have been friends since they became indentured as trainee professionals under Charlie Earp at Royal Queensland.

Norman, who flew in from Florida yesterday after being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, said he would work hard at resurrecting the Greg Norman International, which had been sponsored by Holden for the past eight years.

"There's no worse feeling than losing a great event on the Tour," Norman said.

When the event was cancelled for this summer, promoter Tony Roosenburg claimed the PGA Tour's failure to have television deals in place had scuttled the tournament. Grady claimed promoter SFX's inability to find a new sponsor had been the issue.

"When Greg says something, people will listen," Grady said. "We may never agree on this issue, but that's fine.

"Greg Norman is now a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players. He's definitely the most charismatic we've had and has experience in the business world that can be helpful to our tour.

"What he has done is phenomenal and I'd rather have him onside than offside."

Norman reiterated that Holden had initiated dropping sponsorship of the tournament and, subsequently, its personal sponsorship deal with him.

Norman also said he was sad to be missing next week's Australian Open on the Gold Coast, the first in his home state for 28 years.

He will play today's pro-am and has a 6.50am tee time in tomorrow's opening round of the PGA Championship, where he will partner Peter O'Malley and Paul Gow.

O'Malley was expected to arrive late last night after playing the Volvo Masters in Spain.


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