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Greg Norman unhappy about PGA finale

Greg Norman has opened fire on the Australasian PGA Tour after Sunday's controversial shot-in-the-dark PGA Championship anti-climax.

Peter Lonard and Jarrod Moseley shared the Kirkwood Cup after darkness prevented the conclusion of a sudden death playoff.

PGA tour operations manager Andrew Langford-Jones controversially abdicated responsibility for the outcome, giving the two players a choice of playing in the dark, coming back yesterday or sharing the tournament.

The players, citing other commitments, chose to share the money and the glory.

But Norman said the players should have come back.

"Up there in Queensland it gets light at 4.30am. So you can get up there at 5.30, six o'clock tee-off and you're still going to get the first flight out of there," Norman said.

The rules for the tournament stated that sudden death should continue "until a winner is determined" and Norman said the rules should be adhered to. He also questioned the sense of sharing the tournament.

"What happens if there's three guys? Four guys?"

For Norman it continued an embarrassing summer which started with the abandonment of the first round of the Australian Open because the greens were unplayable.

Norman said that decision humiliated Australian golf in the eyes of the world and the PGA decision wouldn't help things.

"It's the third oldest golf tournament in the world and here we are making a decision like that - it never ceases to amaze me when we come back down here," he said.

However, Australian PGA chief executive Max Garske was happy to break with nearly 100 years of tradition.

They were two very deserving joint champions," Garske said.

There was no other way to achieve a satisfactory result.

He said the players were unable to come back to Coolum yesterday because they had other commitments.

"What happens when you run out of daylight hours and player availability? "Tell me what we do? Do we throw a coin in the air? We can't. It was the only outcome we had available to us. It was the only fair decision," he said.

Garske was unhappy about the way the affair was conducted in front of the television cameras.

But he defended the way Langford-Jones handled the situation in offering the players a choice - something which riled Lonard.

Lonard was heard to say: "Isn't that your job? To make decisions and tell us what to do".

"My only comment would be it's one of those things that probably should have been conducted in the scorer's hut," Garske said.

Garske dismissed suggestions the controversy was in the same league as the Australian Open farce when the first round had to be abandoned because the greens were unplayable.

"That's just sensationalising things," he said.

The decision to share a tournament isn't novel.

Scotsman Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer agreed to share the recent Volvo Masters in Europe.

It happened in similar circumstances to the Australian PGA, after darkness prevented the completion of a sudden death shoot-out.


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