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Greg Norman looking forward to Champions Tour

Greg Norman will boost Champions Tour

Heading into the final round of the Senior British Open, Greg Norman's name appeared prominently on the leaderboard.

The fascination of seeing whether golf's Great White Shark could win his first Champions Tour major _ he finished one short back _ was strong enough to make longtime golf fans turn their attentions away from the PGA Tour event, the U.S. Bank Championship and focus their attention on the Champions Tour.

It's exactly what Champions Tour organizers had hoped would happen when Norman turned 50 earlier this year.

The euphoria that the Champions Tour was feeling about the British Open figures to be short-lived because Norman has made it very clear that he intends to play primarily on the PGA Tour if his game remains sound.

"If I play more golf and feel competitive, it's going to be on the regular tour," Norman said after a practice round for Thursday's opening round of the U.S. Senior Open. "If my competitive level in my game is solid like it's starting to show signs of, I'd much rather go out there and play the regular tour because I still hit the ball long enough.

"I feel like I'm above average than most players, even on the regular tour, so why not get out there and compete against those guys? I don't see myself adjusting my schedule for senior tournament golf."

Hale Irwin, one of the Champions Tour's most successful players, believes Norman should rethink his position.

"The adjustments have to be made in your head," Irwin said. "You have to make it in your mind that you are now going to play here (Champions Tour) and that's it."

If Norman were honest with himself, he might agree with Irwin.

While Norman might periodically challenge on the PGA Tour, he could be an awfully big fish on the Champions Tour, giving that tour the marquee name is sorely needs.

Norman hasn't won a PGA Tour event since 1998. His most recent attempts have ended with him missing the cut, and even when he does make the cut, like at this year's British Open, he's not in a position to contend.

Unfortunately, the Champions Tour needs Norman a lot more than Norman needs that tour.

Along with Jack Nicklaus, Norman is one of the most successful businessmen the PGA Tour has ever produced.

As great a golf career as Norman put together, his business ventures have probably been better, with success in everything from his well-known clothing line to his vineyard which produces a line of wines.

Because he has other interests to keep his attention, the Champions Tour just doesn't possess enough electricity to keep Norman coming back on a regular basis.

Norman will play the Champions Tour majors and maybe one or two other events, but no more.

He's certainly not going to ever play a full schedule on the tour, even when he knows he's no longer capable of competing against Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson on the regular tour.

The competitive juices will never leave a guy like Norman, but he's able to satisfy those urges in places like the boardroom.

That means we figure to have a lot fewer shark sightings, a sad fact for golf fans everywhere.

 

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