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Tiger Woods to shortly pass Greg Norman record

Greg Norman has five days left to enjoy being the world's most durable No.1 golfer.

The Shark holds the record of an accumulated 331 weeks - more than six years - at the top of the rankings, but he will relinquish the title to Tiger Woods on Sunday.

Woods has reigned as No.1 for the past 260 weeks - since August 15, 1999, although his hold on the title is under threat from Ernie Els and Vijay Singh.

Norman, 50 in February, last held the No.1 position in January 1998.

His salad days began in September 1986, the year the official rankings began and when he won the first of his two British Opens.

That was also the season of the "Saturday Slam", when Norman led all four Majors going into the final day and won only at Turnberry.

The Shark had 11 separate stints as No.1 over the next 12 years, the longest being 96 weeks.

He also spent a phenomenal 700 consecutive weeks (nearly 14 years) in the world top 50 until September 1999.

During that time he set a number of milestones, including being first to win a career $US10 million (1996) and first to pass $12m on the PGA Tour (1999).

Such is the relentless drive upwards in prizemoney, and Norman's drop-off in form, that in the five years since, Norman's career total has been passed by no fewer than 20 golfers, led by Woods.

In those five years Woods alone has won $US32m and his career earnings now top $US43.3m.

Even Fred Funk, with just over $US14m, has passed Norman.

Woods leads the rankings with a 12.20 points average. Els is less than a point away on 11.34 with Vijay Singh on 10.38.

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