Following a long layoff of almost nine months ' the longest of his career - when he again underwent knee surgery, Norman has committed to play in the JELD-WEN Tradition presented by Umpqua Bank. He had an ambitious playing schedule planned at the beginning of the year, but the surgery in February on his meniscus interrupted those plans. Hes missed the British Open (where he has won twice), the U.S. Senior Open and the British Senior Open during that time.
Norman has been physically ready for some time, but he didnt feel that his game was ready. Now, hes ready to compete with the best of the Champions Tour at the seasons final major for the over-50 set.
'With JELD-WEN as title sponsor, this event has been elevated to one of the finest stops on the Senior Tour,' Norman said. 'It attracts a tremendous field every year, and I am very much looking forward to returning to Oregon for my 2006 Senior Tour debut.'
The tournament will take place at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club near Portland Aug. 24-27.
Mike Lee, the JELD-WEN tournament director, was ecstatic. 'As a player who held the No. 1 world ranking for 331 weeks, Greg Norman's participation makes the tournament all the more exciting for golf fans of all ages,' said Lee. 'It will be a thrill to watch one of the legends of the game compete at the JELD-WEN Tradition.'
Even though he's well known among golf fans, Norman, now 51, is a new face on the Champions Tour. He played only twice on the tour last year before succumbing once again to back surgery. His two starts were quite successful, however - Norman finished third in the Senior British Open Championship, one stroke out of a playoff, and fourth in the U.S. Senior Open.
Norman had intended to resume his competitive schedule in July with a trio of major championships, including the British Open, the British Seniors and the US Seniors Open. But he felt he needed more time to practice, rebuilding muscles in his thigh and calf because he hasn't used his right leg properly since September.
'My knee is fine. It's just that my game isn't where I want it to be, and the last thing I want to do is take a spot away from another deserving professional,' said Norman.
Norman has not played competitively since last November when he finished fourth in his Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Fla. He played in just five tournaments last year.
Norman is scheduled to play the TELUS Skins Game in early August in Canada with Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Stephen Ames, John Daly and Sergio Garcia.