Norman Commits To Shell Houston Open

Greg Norman will be in the field for the Shell Houston Open in April after receiving a sponsor's exemption for the Texas event.

The 53-year-old Australian is planning to use the PGA Tour event at Redstone Golf Club as a warm-up for the Masters, which takes place at Augusta the following week.

Norman has comitted to the Johnnie Walker Classic and the Shell Houston Open in preparation for this year's Masters.

Norman earned an automatic entry to the first Major of the season with his performance in the Open at Royal Birkdale last year, when he led after three rounds before tying for third.

The Two-time British Open champion is looking forward to tackling an Augusta National course significantly different from the layout where he has famously finished second three times and third three times in his quest for a Masters green jacket.

It has been lengthened 155 yards and many trees have been added to stiffen the test against the advance of technology since he last played in 2002.

"I'm actually looking forward to getting back and seeing what the golf course is like," Norman told the Houston Chronicle.

"I haven't played it since they made all the extensions and additions... The golf course as far as I'm concerned, is a brand-new golf course... I will have a lot to learn."

He aims to retain the all to gain and nothing to lose approach that served him so well at the British Open last July where he led after 54 holes.

"When you're at the tip of the spear, everybody behind you is throwing other spears at you," Norman told the Houston Chronicle.

"I went into the British Open as probably a 300-to-1 underdog. You go in there and you enjoy the game a lot more.

"Your competitive juices are always there, but when you're not under the microscopic look of everybody you go in there with a little bit more freedom in your mind. I kind of enjoyed that."

"I won't have any expectations going in there.

"I earned my way in there. I wasn't given an exemption. I think that's a tremendous positive for me.

"I'll just go enjoy the week, enjoy every step I take, and play the best golf I can possibly play. I would love to get to the weekend. That would be a great goal to have."

Norman's preparation for the Masters will also include an appearance in a strong field at the Johnnie Walker Classic next month.

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