Norman says end of Tiger’s reign ‘good for golf’

HAIKOU, China – Former world number one Greg Norman said on Saturday the end of Tiger Woods`s 281-week run at the top of golf`s global rankings was good for the game.

Either Lee Westwood or Martin Kaymer will take Woods`s crown this weekend, unseating the American for the first time since he reclaimed the top spot from Fiji`s Vijay Singh in 2005.

Norman, known to his fans as the Great White Shark, said that either player would be worthy of the accolade.

"I think it`s fantastic for the game of golf, number one. I think it`s always good that it`s a change and a change for global golf," Norman said.

"Irrespective (of who takes the top spot), I think it`s great for the game of golf.

"No disrespect to Tiger, but to see what`s happening with the Ryder Cup, to see what`s happening here in China and to see what`s happening with the new number one, I think it`s fantastic."

The veteran Australian said that Westwood`s lack of a Major win did not mean he was undeserving of the top spot.

"He`s been a consistent performer and Tiger hasn`t won a tournament this year, so does that make him worthy?" Norman said.

"The numbers stack up and he`s performed consistently week in, week out, more than anybody else."

Kaymer needs to finish in the top two at the Andalucia Masters this weekend to unseat Woods, while Westwood -- currently out resting a calf injury -- will take top spot if the German slips up.

Norman is in southern China competing in the inaugural Star Trophy pro-celebrity tournament, where he shot a four-over-par 77 first round as he competed for a 1.28 million dollar winner`s prize.

Bureau Report

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