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Norman named coach of Chinese national golf team

Greg Norman
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Jim Gormley in action during the first round of the 2006 Nissan Open, Presented by Countrywide at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California February 16, 2006.Photo by Steve Grayson/  - 

As the China Golf Association begins to shift its focus to golf's return to the Olympics in 2016, it has asked a former top-ranked player to help guide its fledgling program – Greg Norman.

Norman, whose 20 career PGA Tour wins included a pair of British Open titles, was named Friday as an advisory coach to the China national golf team as the nation begins preparing for the Rio games three years from now.

'I'm extremely proud of it,' the Aussie said of his appointment during an interview on 'Morning Drive' Friday. 'I've never been asked by Australia, never been asked by the United States or anybody else to help guide a group of golfers to an ultimate goal of being in the Olympics. So I seized the moment.'

While specifics of the partnership are still being worked out, Norman indicated that he will be working 'across the board' with the CGA on everything from individual training and fitness to the overall qualification process for the 2016 Olympics.

'China's very much in its infancy in the development program, all the way from the grassroots up to the professionals. There's a lot for them to learn,' explained Norman, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001. 'I think I can hone their skills and give them a lot of important factors about how to develop their skills to become world champions.'

Tasked with building a team from scratch in a nation that currently imposes a moratorium on golf course construction, Norman understands that the battle he's facing is decidedly uphill.

'It's going to be a daunting task, but it's a challenge that I'm really looking forward to,' he added. 'It's going to be an incredible journey.'