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Maruyama returning to Australia

SYDNEY -- Presidents Cup hero Shigeki Maruyama will be returning to Australia next month to play in the Greg Norman International golf tournament, organisers said Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Maruyama starred in the International team's emphatic nine-point win over the mighty United States team at Royal Melbourne last month.

Maruyama won all his five matches in the team event and became a cult figure with the Australian galleries during the three-day contest.

Organisers said during the post-Cup celebrations that Greg Norman extended an invitation to Maruyama to come back to Australia and play in his tournament at the Lakes course in Sydney from February 4-7.

Maruyama made sure he was not committed to play elsewhere before accepting Norman's invitation and will tee up alongside other world stars, Bernhard Langer and José Maria Olazábal.

Maruyama will also be bringing with him to Sydney two close golfing friends, Shinichi Yokota and Kaname Yokoo.

Yokota won the 1997 ANA Open and was second in last year's Japan Matchplay, while Yokoo won last year's Acom International.

More players are expected to be added to the tournament field within the next 10 days.

TW 7/1/99