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Greg Norman pulls out of PGA Championship

Australia's Greg Norman withdrew from the U.S. PGA Championship on Tuesday after being advised by doctors to rest his sore back.

Norman, who had successful back surgery in March, arrived at Baltusrol Golf Club after competing in four consecutive events -- last month's British Open, the Senior British Open, the Senior U.S. Open and the PGA Tour's International.

However, he decided to pull out of the final major of the year to allow his back time to recover from muscle fatigue after conferring with neurosurgeons.

"The surgery was a complete success and I have been extremely pleased with my progress to date," twice British Open champion Norman, 50, said in a statement.

"I knew going into this stretch that it was going to be rigorous and I had no idea how my body would react so quickly after surgery.

"In conference with my neurosurgeon and physical therapist, they both believe I simply played too soon, hence a minor setback."

The former world number one, who had hip surgery in 2000 and shoulder surgery in 1998, missed the cut in last week's International at Castle Rock in Colorado.

Winner of the British Open at Turnberry in 1986 and at Royal St George's in 1993, Norman had been grouped with Tiger Woods and U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand for the first two rounds at Baltusrol.

The third player to pull out of the event in the last two days, Norman is replaced by American Kevin Sutherland.

Twice winner Larry Nelson and Argentine Angel Cabrera withdrew from the 87th U.S. PGA Championship on Monday.

Nelson, champion at Atlanta Athletic Club in 1981 and at PGA National in 1987, cited illness and Cabrera is believed to have had a stomach problem.

American Patrick Sheehan took Nelson's place while Sweden's Richard Johnson came in for Cabrera.


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