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Norman set for emotional farewell

Greg Norman

Archive: Norman blows a six-shot lead at Augusta in 1996

Australia's Greg Norman is braced for an emotional week in what is likely to be his final appearance at the Masters.

The 54-year-old has not played at Augusta since 2002, but qualified this year courtesy of his third-place finish at last year's Open Championship.

"I think the reaction is going to be incredible to tell you the truth," said Norman, a two-time Open champion.

Norman has nine top-10 finishes at Augusta and has finished second three times, but never won a Green Jacket.

In 1986, Norman led after nine holes on Sunday but bogeyed the 18th, thus missing out as Jack Nicklaus won by one shot.

Chrissie [Evert, Norman's wife] lost majors - she lost to Martina Navratilova and finally got over the hump in that

Greg Norman

The following year, Norman lost a play-off to Larry Mize, the Augusta native sinking a miraculous 45-yard chip shot on the second extra hole.

Then in 1996, Norman took a six-stroke lead into the final round only to lose the tournament to England's Nick Faldo by five strokes after shooting a 78 to Faldo's 67.

However, Norman says his wife, tennis legend Chris Evert, has helped him live with his myriad career near-misses.

Norman said: "She came out to watch me practice and I've talked about my losses with her a lot to make her understand the dynamics of it.

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"She completely understands. In her world she lost majors - she lost to Martina Navratilova and finally got over the hump in that.

"She's a great sounding board. She's very understanding and she even gives me a few little anecdotes to take with me when I go to practice sessions."

Norman's 22-year-old son Greg will caddie for him in the tournament, but despite speculation it is not expected that his wife will carry his clubs for the traditional eve-of-Masters par-three competition.

"I said to her, 'Chrissie, you're going to be inundated up there'. She wants to go in under the radar screen."



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