Norman: Americans should travel more

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The Independent Online

Australian Greg Norman says American golfers should get out more.

Australian Greg Norman says American golfers should get out more.

Norman on Tuesday bemoaned the lack of Americans prepared to travel the world and said the majority of PGA Tour players are happy with mediocrity.

On Thursday Norman will head an Australian Open field missing a top class American player.

He said he understood the long season meant many players needed to rest up for the start of the PGA Tour but added that with few exceptions Americans were not doing enough to promote the sport.

"I think there is an obligation on a golfer to travel because it is a global sport," said Norman. "It's not a USA game."

He said Tiger Woods deserved praise for playing in Asia regardless of the fact he got large appearance fees.

"I think it's great he goes to Asia and plays up there," said Norman. "You see the stimulus for the game in Asia now that we're all going to benefit from.

"I'd like to see more Americans travel a little more. But it's a pretty easy place to live, it's an easy place to get around, the lifestyle's easy, tax is pretty good. Their argument about traveling is "why should I?"

Norman said there was enough talent outside the US to make up for the lack of American players venturing outside the States.

England's Nick Faldo and Scotland's Colin Montgomerie are the leading international players at this week's tournament.

"There's a lot of other good players out there who can put bums on seats at events without the USA behind their name," Norman said.

"The game of golf has transcended the United States. They're always going to have a good breed of players coming out but I honestly believe we have more better young players coming out of Australia than they do in the US"

Norman said many American golfers were prepared to float along without extending themselves on the PGA Tour.

"If you look at the money list this year I think there were 35 guys made more than a million in prizemoney," Norman said. "That's a lot of money and a lot of those guys haven't won a tournament.

"A lot of guys are happy finishing in the top 15 where you don't have to do too much hard work, not a lot of responsibility goes with it and you don't have to carry the burden of golf on your shoulders.

"I'm sure they're trying to win, the top 20 or 30 players are very much that way, but there's also that group down there who seem very happy just making their million."

Norman said he was looking forward to a full schedule next year after missing most of this year with his shoulder injury.

The 18 months of limited movement has set back a 7-year plan raised in 1993 when Norman said he would contemplate retirement in 2000.

"I still feel I'll be a round for a few more years," said Norman. "I still feel there's a lot on the tournament table that I can go get. That's why my desire's pushing me back there."