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Friday, December 14, 2007

Is Anyone Else Paying Attention to Greg Norman the Golfer?

It seems like everything I read during the past three or four years about Greg Norman focuses on his business successes and his personal life. Little has been written about his golf game. It's understandable that Greg Norman "the golfer" has taken a back seat to these other stories because:
a) He's been a tremendous success in several types of business pursuits,
b) His recent divorce was costly and drawn-out, and
c) He hasn't played a lot of golf in recent years.
Once Norman turned fifty, it was assumed that he would play several tournaments each year on the Champions Tour, but that hasn't come into fruition partly because of injuries and partly because of other distractions. However, if one wanted to read between the lines, it might have been reasonable to presume that his game was very rusty and that he didn't want to go out there and embarrass himself.
After his performance in his own tournament in Florida last week paired with Bubba Watson in which they tied for second, I started thinking about the state of his game. I didn't watch the tournament, but I have to imagine that he played pretty well. Fast forward to this weekend, and I notice that he's going to make the cut at the South African Airways open with ease. With his second round complete, he's at +1 in a tie for eighth. To put that in perspective, he's currently four shots clear of Ernie Els, the fourth-ranked player in the world.
It's easy to forget that Norman was for several years the Tiger Woods of his era. Even though he had only two majors and a slew of close calls to show for it, he was the most dominant player in the world between Tom Watson and Tiger. His collapse at the hands of Nick Faldo at the Masters in 1996 was the beginning of the end of his dominance, but what these past two weeks show me is that Norman still has game and still has a little competitive fire in his belly.
It will be interesting to see if after his divorce and with the realization that he has tons of money in the bank and probably has most of his businesses on autopilot, he decides to tee it up a little more often. I know his fans around the world would certainly like to see it.


Anonymous Chrissy Everett said...

Norman is probably still peeved at the PGA for pooping on his world golf tour/tournament(s) idea then turn around and headline the WGC events. I'd be pissed too. Why don't you think you haven't seen Chi Chi playing the Champions in years? Because the great know-it-all Jack Nicklaus pressured the Tour no bannish golf carts for old men. Chi Chi still plays - just not in the States and sure as hell not for the Tour. Who craps on the "characters" that made the tour long before there was Tiger Woods? They must be taking their cues from Bud Selig.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Champ said...

The weekend telecast mentioned that Norman lead the Tour in driving distance (I think in '91) at 289 yards.


That's how far Payne hits his 3 (cough cough) metal.

10:18 AM  
Blogger John Gorman said...

The World Tour was a great idea. Not only did the PGA Tour ostracize Norman, they stole his plan and started the WGC events. Incredible.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Cookie Monster said...

I think it would be a great idea to re-ignite the World Tour in the model of the X-FL with rogue players that go by one name only and players can use any kind of equipment - most perferable equipment banned by USGA. Ah, it would be great with dancers and cheerleaders . . . JD could be its Vince McMahon and J5 could be Jimmy Hart. We'll market action figures and comic books. Brilliant!
Cookies were yummy btw.

10:54 AM  

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