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“He’s very competitive but at the same time very passionate and genuine,” Niemann said. “That’s the beautiful part of him. He wants to win, as long as it’s not at the price of somebody else. I think if he’s had all this time to think about it, he’s definitely got many tricks up his sleeve.”

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Online:

http://garthbrooks.com

http://countrymusichalloffame.org

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For the latest country music news from the Associated Press: http://twitter.com/AP_Country. Follow AP Music Writer Chris Talbott: http://twitter.com/Chris_Talbott.