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GREAT WHITE SHARK BITES; GOLF:NORMAN HUNTS RARE.

Byline: GRAHAM OTWAY

THE Great White Shark Greg Norman will be able to scent blood today as he tries to win The Senior Open title for the first time.

Yesterday during the third round at Sunningdale he coldly hunted down the American runaway leader for two and half days Fred Funk.

A second nine birdie blitz saw him the 54-year-old Aussie shoot a six under par 64 to reach 10 under par.

And seeing Norman's fin circling menacingly, Baltimore boy Funk buckled under the pressure. At one stage yesterday at 12 under, he held a seven shot lead.

But a double bogey after Funk drove into deep rough at the 12th hole and a three putt from close range at the shot 15th destroyed that advantage.

Last night Norman, who won the European Open at Sunningdale in 1986, was ready 23 years later to become only the fourth golfer in history to win both The Open and Senior Open titles.

Norman said: "Once a competitor, always a competitor.

"It doesn't matter what age you are you want to win as Tom Watson showed at Turnberry last week. And now I'm really going to look forward to first round. I'm keen to get out there. This is a course which really suits me, I have played well here in the past and can see the shots I need off the tee."

Funk will start out in second today, one shot behind along with his fellow American Lauren Roberts, who has only ever made golfing headlines in the past when he managed to bust two ribs during a sneezing fit.

Earlier Sam Torrance was left red faced in front of his army of home fans in Surrey after blowing his chances of winning with just one poor shot.

After the first two rounds, the Scot who led Europe's to victory in the 2002 Ryder Cup , looked to be the one player left who could clip the wings of Funk. Torrance, on eight under at the halfway mark, was only three shots adrift of the lead.

The prospect of in a head-tohead tussle attracted another bumper 10,000 crowd.

But it took only 20 minutes for Torrance to burst the bubble of excitement as he drove into trees off the second tee.

His ball was in such an unplayable lie in undergrowth that it took a lengthy and sometimes heated conversation with a rules officials for Torrance to find a suitable place to drop his ball under penalty.

He emerged from the woods to miss the green with his fourth shot on his way to a card wrecking triple bogey, but still managed to rally for a 71.

CAPTION(S):

NORMAN CONQUEST: Greg Norman making a splash at Sunningdale as a third round birdie blitz leaves him well set to capture his first Senior Open title
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 26, 2009
Words:473
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