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SPORTS WEEKEND

Norman Takes Route 66

March 07, 1997|From Associated Press

MIAMI — Swinging like his old self and showing the flair that made him the most compelling golfer of the past 15 years, Greg Norman returned to the PGA Tour with a six-under-par 66 on Thursday, one stroke behind leader Skip Kendall after the first round of the Doral-Ryder Open.

"I've got more freedom," Norman said about the effects of the swing changes suggested by golf guru David Leadbetter. "I have a familiar swing again."

Norman hasn't won on the PGA Tour since this tournament last year--he also won here in 1990 and 1993--and if he was feeling any lingering ill effects from his collapse in the final round of last year's Masters, he hid them beautifully on a relatively windless day perfect for scoring.

Bob Tway and Lee Rinker matched Norman's score on the revamped Blue Monster course, and Stewart Cink, Sandy Lyle, Jay Haas, Doug Martin and Ronnie Black were another stroke behind at 67.

Masters champion Nick Faldo--the winner at Riviera last week--shot a 71 and Mark O'Meara, a two-time winner this year, had a 75.

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