Norman threatens to quit events involving women

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The Independent Online

Greg Norman yesterday urged golf's administrators to find a way of outlawing the increasingly popular practice of leading female players taking sponsors' invitations to compete on the men's tours.

Norman was responding to the announcement last week that Laura Davies is to become the first woman to compete in a European Tour event when she lines up at next week's ANZ Championship in Port Stephens, north of Sydney.

"I personally don't think it should happen. I don't think it is right. I think the women should play on their tour and the men play on our tour," said Norman, who would "seriously think about" withdrawing from an event which invited a woman to play. "I think it has got to stop. How do we stop it? It is up to our administrators to come up with the wording of our bye-law."

The Ladies Professional Golf Association regulations state that participants must be born female to compete, but there are currently no such stipulations for the men's tour. "We can't go and play on their tour because we weren't born female. That is the wording they have in their bye-laws. I think we should do something about it," Norman added.

The issue has arisen since the world No 1, Annika Sorenstam, of Sweden, last year became the first woman in 58 years to play a PGA Tour event. Others have joined her on the men's tour, and 14-year-old Michelle Wie narrowly missed the cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii last month.

Norman maintained that while he had a lot of respect for Wie, her place was not on the men's tour. "I am very impressed with her attitude, her demeanour at such a young age," he said, "but the situation is more of a marketing ploy than anything else."

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