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Norman says McIlroy best to beat Nicklaus
Wayne Heming
18:41 AEST Wed Dec 12 2012

While Jeff the dinosaur was the name on everyone's lips at Coolum, former world No.1 Greg Norman was busy talking up Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy as the player most likely to surpass Jack Nicklaus as golf's greatest major winner.

It was a statement as big as "Jeff" -- the 20 metre long, 8.5 metre tall dinosaur casting a shadow between the resort's ninth green and 10th tee.

Speaking ahead of a rare appearance in the Australian PGA Championship this week, Norman waxed lyrical for more than 30 minutes about topics as diverse as dinosaurs, the state of the game internationally and the future of the belly putter.

But when the topic turned to McIlroy, the two-time major winner cut to the chase, saying McIlroy could be "as big as he wanted to be".

"I think if anybody can break Nicklaus's record (18 majors), I think he could, because he is young, he is ahead of the game, he is ahead of the curve on a lot of things," said Norman.

Tiger Woods with his 14 major victories appears the logical player to surpass Nicklaus, if anyone does.

But Norman was clearly on the McIlroy bandwagon declaring the 23 year-old, who has won 12 less majors than Woods, a better prospect to catch Nicklaus.

"I don't think so," was his blunt reply when asked if the 36 year-old Woods would overtake Nicklaus for the most majors won.

"Every year that passes by that he (Woods) hasn't won a major it just gets that much harder to win a major," said Norman.

"I don't care how many you have won, it just becomes a little bit more difficult, so he might have a shot at winning; he might win one or two more but I don't think he will win the four or five more that he needs to win to break the record."

Norman, 57, rarely plays these days with his many global business affairs taking up most of his time.

Asked what would be a good week at Coolum he said: "To do a Peter Senior".

Senior, 53, will be trying to complete the double this weekend after winning the Australian Open at The Lakes in brutally tough conditions last weekend.

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