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The Shark helped tee up Turnbull and Trump

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016

Golfing great Greg Norman can now add diplomat to his scorecard.

The man known as the 'Shark' is believed to have helped Malcolm Turnbull become one of the first world leaders to talk personally to Donald Trump soon after he won the US presidential election.

The prime minister praised Norman as a great Australian, but didn't directly confirm his assistance in connecting him to the president-elect when quizzed on Thursday.

"He is a great advocate for strengthening the Australian-American alliance," Mr Turnbull told reporters at Kirribilli House in Sydney.

Some of the country's greatest assets were the Australians, like Norman, who lived overseas.

"He has been a great help," the prime minister said.

"Sure, it depends on good relations between leaders and ministers and so forth but, above all, it's based on millions of people-to-people links.

"All I can say is we have great networks, great connections and Greg Norman is a great Australian."

Australia's ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, reportedly contacted Norman asking for Mr Trump's private mobile number.

"I will say that I have spoken to the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, and he is onboard with wanting to see president-elect Trump succeed," Norman wrote in an article published in Newsweek on Wednesday.

The two leaders had a 15 minute telephone chat the day after Mr Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, with the prime minister describing the discussion as "very warm".

The federal government already has begun talks with Trump administration advisers as the new president prepares to take over the White House in January.

In a statement to the ABC, Norman said it was a pleasure and honour to facilitate the connection between the prime minister and president-elect.

"I have great respect for both men who have been voted in by the people of their respective countries and I am fortunate enough to call Mr Trump a friend, so I was happy to put them in touch to further the incredible long-standing relationship the two countries have experienced," he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the method was a little unorthodox.

"But we live in unorthodox times, so I'm not going to be critical of getting Greg Norman to get the phone number," he said in Sydney.

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