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Golf News: - Posted 6th May 1998

Norman considers retiring

Australia, 6th May -  Australian golfer Greg Norman has given his strongest hint yet that he may be ready to quit the game.

Norman, who is out of action for five months after undergoing shoulder surgery, told the May issue of Australian Golf Digest that he will pack up his clubs forever if he is unable to rekindle his enthusiasm for the sport.

"I get more pain than pleasure now by going to the golf course," he said.

"That has to change or I'll hang them up - in a heartbeat - if I can't turn that around."

Norman, who turned 43 in February, has always said that he would review his career in the year 2000.

But with his business career blooming and his success on the course waning, Norman has not ruled out retiring before the end of the millenium.

"Sometimes, golf gets in the way of all the other things I've got going. I'm very comfortable in the office," he said.

Before going under the surgeon's knife, Norman's form this year was uncharacteristically poor. The world's top-ranked golfer for most of the past decade has slipped to number four in the rankings.

He withdrew from the Players Championship in March and failed to make the cut two weeks later at the U.S. Masters Tournament after rounds of 76 and 78.

Norman, who holds the dubious honour of being the only player to lose all four majors in playoffs, will miss this year's three remaining majors but had said he would be back in time for the Presidents Cup in Australia in December.

"I think people believe I'm more tormented than I really am (about losing majors). The Masters I blew to (Nick) Faldo in 1996, I was back in the office the next day," Norman said.

"If my kids can see what (my wife) Laura and I have left them when we're gone, and say 'thanks', yet still retain their iniative to do more and do better, then that's more important than the U.S. Masters."

"That's the tournament of life. That's the one I want to win."