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Page last updated at 19:03 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 20:03 UK

Norman issues Turnberry warning

The 138th Open, Turnberry
Date: 16-19 July
Coverage: Live TV coverage on BBC Two, Online and the Red Button, live on Radio 5 Live and text commentary online on all four days

Greg Norman
Norman believes many will struggle with Turnberry's challenging holes

Former Open champion Greg Norman is convinced his epic round of 63 at Turnberry during his 1986 triumph will not be matched in this year's event.

"There haven't been too many low scores and I don't see it this week either," he said. "If you go nine to 10 feet off the fairway you might lose your ball.

"I think that's an indication not too many drivers are going to be used.

"There are going to be a lot of long irons into some of these greens so to attack the flags is going to be tough."

The one occasion when the scoring at Turnberry was low was the legendary 'duel in the sun' in 1977 when Tom Watson edged out Jack Nicklaus by a single stroke with a 12-under-par total for the four rounds.

Norman's 63 came in the second round of his 1986 victory, but two rounds of 74 meant his winning total was 12 shots higher at 280.

However, last time around in 1994 Zimbabwean Nick Price carded four rounds in the 60's to match Watson's 280.

"If you go back there's very few scores in the low to mid-60s on this golf course, except in 1977 and the course was in very accessible condition then," Norman said.


Norman surprised and delighted the galleries at Royal Birkdale in last year's Championship when he led by two shots going into the final round at the age of 53.

He slipped to a 77 in the final round to finish in third place behind Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter, but admits he is unsure how he will fare this year.

"I don't know, to tell you the honest truth," the Australian said. "I wish I could sit here and say yes or no. It's not just the fact that I don't feel good about myself or my game, it's just that I don't know.

"This year I spent a little bit more time practising in Florida, where it was 98 degrees and 98% humidity and no wind. You go through about eight gloves in a practice session.

"So I came over to Ireland, went to Doonbeg and stayed there for a couple of days and it was miserable weather, blowing about 30mph and raining so I didn't do much practice there.

"So it's similar preparation to last year, but in a different location."

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see also
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Woods fired up for Open success
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Torrance talks up Monty's chances
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McIlroy bullish for Turnberry bid
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Golf on the BBC
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Turnberry gallery
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Memories of Turnberry
13 Jul 09 |  Golf

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