Category: Greg Norman

October 01, 2013

Norman: I was 'cut off' from the Presidents Cup

Posted at 12:39 PM by Pete Madden
Greg Norman
Credit: Chris Condon / Getty Images


There's an angry Great White Shark after PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem.

Greg Norman lost twice in two appearances as captain of the Presidents Cup International team -- most recently at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in his home state of Australia two years ago -- but the two-time major winner and former World No. 1 player still felt slighted when the PGA Tour picked Zimbabwe's Nick Price for this year's job.

"It came as a big surprise to me," Norman told FOX Sports' Robert Lusetich. "Let's just say it's disappointing. Extremely disappointing ... We were just completely cut off."

Norman, whose "measured" relationship with Finchem is well-documented, joined the chorus of voices concerned for the future of the competition. The United States has gone 7-1-1 since the tournament's inception in 1994, and with six of the top 10 players in the world playing for the red, white and blue at Muirfield Village, the 2013 competition figures to be more of the same.

"It's crucially important for them to do everything they can to make this President Cup a true competition," said Norman. "Right now, it's lopsided and a lot of the interest isn't there that could be there."

If Finchem and the PGA Tour is to turn the Presidents Cup around, they'll have to do it without Norman.

"My role is done," he said.

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September 10, 2013

Norman blames epic Masters collapse on bad back

Posted at 1:01 PM by Pete Madden

Norman_96_Masters_CoverIt took 17 years, but Greg Norman finally revealed the reason behind his infamous 1996 Masters meltdown.

"There's more to it than people realize because I did have back issues that morning," said Norman on ABC's Australian Story. "I tried to walk it off but I couldn't. I told my coach, 'Today's not going to be easy.'"

Of all the memories Norman gave us -- two Open Championship victories, 331 weeks as World No. 1, and an unfailingly brazen style of play -- it's the image of The Shark in defeat that has endured.

Norman squandered a six-stroke lead heading into Sunday's final round, shooting a 78 to give Nick Faldo the Green Jacket that would elude him for the rest of his career.

Norman has been especially honest in his reflections upon his career of late. In an interview with Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning in August, Norman said he might have won more if it weren't for one thing.

"I was a little stubborn," he said. "I wanted to do things my way ... There wasn't a shot I didn't love."

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(Photo: Greg Norman at Augusta National in 1996 / Sports Illustrated)

August 22, 2013

Norman: I would have won more if I wasn't so stubborn

Posted at 1:07 PM by Josh Sens

If you think that fans view athletes through a distorted prism, consider how some athletes view themselves.

One interesting example is Greg Norman, whose interview this week with CBS This Morning would provide juicy fodder for a round-table of shrinks.

Asked by Charlie Rose why he didn't live up to his on-course potential, Norman pointed to one overriding factor.

"I was a little stubborn," he said. "I wanted to do things my way."

That stubbornness, the Shark said, prompted him to stick with an aggressive style of play even when caution would have been the better course.

"There wasn't a shot I didn't love," Norman added.

Certainly, Norman was no shrinking violet. With 91 career wins and two British Open triumphs, he cut a swashbuckling figure wherever he played. He was also snake-bitten, losing in more than one major to improbable shots.

And yet, for many fans, the most enduring image of Norman's career springs from his performance at the '96 Masters, where he fell to Nick Faldo, relinquishing a six-shot lead on Sunday.

There, in the shadow of the loblolly pines, Norman was not the picture of unbridled aggression. He looked fearful, almost feeble, fanning several back-nine shots into the water on his way to a closing round 78.

When Faldo embraced him on the 18th green, the golf world had its lingering Norman snapshot: what it showed was a toothless Shark.

But if that's how many fans remember Norman, that's not how he chooses to remember himself. Glancing in the rearview mirrow, Norman sees stubbornness and aggression, and who can blame him? That's a prettier sports picture than the image of an athlete buckling under pressure.

"Sports is an interesting way of understanding a person's psyche," Norman told Rose.

He was referring to his fans and the way they seemed to "live and die" by his performance. But the interview made you wonder: how well does Norman understand himself?

In the CBS This Morning spot, Norman covered a range of subjects, including his success as a businessman who has grown his name into a global brand.

"It's amazing being the living icon," Norman said.

Inevitably, the Shark was also asked about Tiger Woods and his famous chase for the career-majors record. Norman said that Woods faces an ever-tougher challenge, in large part because he's "losing his intimidation factor" -- one of the greatest assets, he said, that an athlete has.

Then came another Woods-inspired question: Had a night on a bad mattress ever affected Norman's golf swing in the same way it had affected Tiger's?

Yes, Norman said, but "most of the time it's the pillow."

You've got to think that Norman has fine bedding. We all need things to help us sleep at night.

August 11, 2013

Greg Norman says Fox offered him U.S. Open analyst gig

Posted at 10:42 AM by Mike Walker

Greg_300Sorry, Discovery Channel, but "Shark Week" might soon refer to the U.S. Open.

According to Tim Rosaforte of Golf World/Golf Digest, Greg Norman says Fox Sports has offered him the lead analyst position when Fox takes over the U.S. Open broadcast in 2015 as part of a 12-year deal worth a reported $100 million a year. Johnny Miller, the acerbic voice of NBC Sports' U.S. Open coverage, has said he is unlikely to move to Fox for the broadcast. Here's Norman:

"David Hill has reached out to me, we have spoken and yes, they have offered me the job," Norman confirmed in an email sent from his home in Florida. "I am flattered to have been asked and I look forward to having discussions with my good friend (Hill) in the very near future."

Hill, senior vice president for News Corp., ran Fox Sports Media Group before moving over recently to manage "American Idol" and the "X Factor" for the network.

Photo: Greg Norman at Wimbledon in July (Getty Images).

June 07, 2013

Norman says if he dwelled on losses he'd be 'a friggin' psychopath'

Posted at 1:31 PM by Coleman McDowell

8a33c279a77843429392b68161e11cad-0Greg Norman is a busy man these days. But amid designing courses, selling wine and putting his trademark shark logo on anything and everything, he snuck in 18 holes with ForbesLife writer Monte Burke.

The two-time British Open Champ is more famous for his second place finishes in majors: seven in all. Burke didn't even wait until the back nine to ask him about those losses.

As we make our way through the front nine, I ask Norman about those losses. He admits that he had recently talked to his wife (Kirsten, an interior designer whom he married in 2010) about them. Sometimes he just lost, he says. Shot a 67 on the final day and was beaten by a better score. But what about the others, I ask? Were they chokes? “Some of them, yes,” he says, softly.

“The hardest ones for me are the two I lost to Mize and Tway,” he says. The two men–Bob Tway at the 1986 PGA and Larry Mize at the 1987 Masters–holed near-miracle chips to beat him. “That didn’t happen to other golfers. Those are the ones when you start to wonder about destiny. But if I dwell on it too much, it starts to turn me into a friggin’ psychopath.”

The entire story runs in the June 24 issue of ForbesLife.

(Photo: AP)

May 01, 2013

Greg Norman has nothing on Craig Wood, the unluckiest golfer of all-time

Posted at 6:29 PM by


By Josh Sens

We golfers are a famously self-punishing lot, keen to wallow in our own misfortunes, to revel in the memory of our rotten luck.

Masochism comes so naturally to us that it’s easy to forget: there’s always someone out there who’s got it worse.

I say this as a segue into the mention of Craig Wood, who took his share of lumps during his career, with an agonizing five second-place showings in majors. Compared to him, Greg Norman had a horseshoe up his you-know-what.

It’s not just the fact of Wood’s narrow losses. It’s the manner in which he fell.

At the 1933 British Open, he lost in a playoff at St. Andrews after nuking a drive that flew so far it wound up plunking into the Swilcan Burn.

In ’34, Wood became the bridesmaid at Augusta when Horton Smith drained two long putts on the final holes to triumph by a single shot. Later that season, more foul fortune: Wood lost in a playoff at the PGA Championship to a former assistant pro.

But his most famous defeat came in ’35, when he led the Masters in the final round only to be tied improbably on Sunday by Gene Sarazen and his double-eagle: the shot heard 'round the world.

The Squire won in a playoff the next day.

Like a lot of golfers, I’ve been consumed for so long with my own troubles that I’d never paid much heed to Wood’s frustrations.

But there his name appeared, shouting out to me this past week in an unlikely forum: a non-golf-related article in the New York Times.

The piece focused on the writer Gilbert King, who, it just so happens, was playing golf in Florida earlier this month when he learned he’d been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his book, Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys and the Dawn of a New America.

The book is the true tale of true misfortune: it recounts the story of four black men who were falsely accused of raping a young white women in 1949.

Reading the Times piece, I also learned that King had written recently about Craig Wood, whom King describes as “the unluckiest golfer of all time.” If you haven’t seen that article, it’s worth a look.

Among the indignities King’s article describes is how Wood, at Augusta in ’35, was safely in the clubhouse after his Sunday round, his name already written on the winner’s check, when Sarazen carded his historic deuce.

If Wood was ever bitter, he never showed it.

And even if he was, golf doesn’t have him to kick around anymore. Wood died in 1968, a final misfortune that came a few months shy of his 67th birthday.

For all its dark fringes, I liked reading Wood’s story: feeling sorry for him was a welcome distraction from my own self-pity.

I recommend it, next time you’re feeling a bit woe-is-me.

Photo: Craig Wood in 1954 (Time/Life Pictures).

December 26, 2012

Rumors: Greg Norman taking demands The Medalist Club return his shark

Posted at 9:56 AM by David Dusek

'Tis the season for good will towards men, but according to a report by Tim Rosaforte, an angry Greg Norman is demanding the return of his memorabilia and that his name, along with fellow co-designer Pete Dye's name, be removed from The Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla.

Norman's issue is the club's hiring of former Dye disciple Bobby Weed to do a restoration of the original Norman-Dye design that opened in 1995.

In a letter sent to Medalist President De Mudd following a board meeting in early December, Norman demanded that the club stop using his name and Dye's in reference to the design of the course. Saturday morning he called the club to arrange an evening to pick up his belongings. His name will remain on the locker room wall as winner of both the gross and net divisions of the club's member-guest.

"It's really a slap in the face at the end of the day," Norman said via email. "It's the end of a legacy by the board doing what the board is doing now. It hurts a lot to tell the truth. It's a shame."

According to Rosaforte, Mudd's switch to a dues-only program for pros is a big reason why several high-profile PGA Tour players now regularly practice and play at The Medalist Golf Club, including Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson.

RELATED: Top 100 Courses in the United States

December 13, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Norman says McIlroy is most likely to break Jack's record

Posted at 1:01 PM by Samantha Glover

P1-SharkGreg Norman is at it again.

In September, Norman said Tiger Woods was intimidated by Rory McIlroy and that Tiger "really can't keep up with Rory." This week, Norman said McIlroy has a better chance of getting to 19 majors than Woods.

According to a report by Australian Golf Digest, Norman spoke out after the pro-am at the Australian PGA Championship:

"I think if anybody can break Nicklaus's record 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 and he has a very balanced life across the board," Norman said.

"So I will keep my fingers crossed for him 'cause I would love to see that happen because somebody will do it one day and it could be Rory.

"I am a big fan of Rory's, I think he's really the tip of the iceberg. He can be as big as he wants to be."

(Photo: Richard Heathcote / Getty Images)

November 15, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Greg Norman says 'lots of guys' used beta blockers in his day

Posted at 12:05 PM by Samantha Glover

According to a report by The New York Times, Greg Norman said he remembers a time when "lots of guys were on beta blockers" on the PGA Tour:

“It wasn’t openly acknowledged, but it was obvious to the rest of us. A guy’s personality would change. In practice rounds or friendly matches, we’d see the real guy under stress. Then in competition, he was like a different, calmer person. Those guys were trying to take the nerves out of the game. But nerves are very much a part of the game.”

In 2008, when the PGA and LPGA Tours adopted anti-doping policies, beta blockers were included on the banned substance list.

Charlie Beljan's panic attack and win at the Children's Miracle Network Classic did more than just secure his place on the PGA Tour next year. It has also brought up the discussion of beta blockers once again.

According to the Times report, Beljan will meet with his doctors near his Arizona home to discuss potential treatment plans this week. If Beljan is required to take medication to treat his anxiety, he will be required to apply for a therapeutic-use exemption, which will require a review by an independent panel of doctors, to continue the medication during competition.

September 24, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Norman defends claim that Tiger is intimidated

Posted at 2:18 PM by Mark Dee

Last week, Greg Norman fed the hype machine by suggesting the Tiger Woods was "intimidated" by Rory McIlroy.

Despite catching criticism from corners disparate and multiple, the Shark stood by his comments -- and took a swing at the blogosphere -- in a Friday post on his Facebook page. As not to give Norman more ammunition, here is his follow-up in full:

Got off the plane from Beijing this morning and my Iphone just blew up with emails and voicemails regarding my interview with Robert Lusetich of Fox Sports. It seems that everyone from Charles Barkley (no Charles I was not referencing or comparing Tiger's record to mine) to John Doe has weighed in on my quote regarding intimidation. I stand by my comments and for those that choose to read the full article and not just "grasp" and "react" to one word will notice that the headline and byline were inconsistent with the content of what Robert wrote. When you look at my comments in the full context of the article, you will see that it provides a more balanced view of my sentiments on this topic. Which is, since the PGA Championship Tiger has not made any impact on the weekend in passing Rory for the title. This has not happened in his career prior to this run by Rory. During the PGA Championship broadcast I spoke at length about Tiger and I maintain that no one has swung the club better in the history of the game, especially during the year 2000. At the end of the day, Tiger is a great athlete and a great student of the game and he will continue to win, but we are seeing a transition away from his dominance. Rivalry and parity is great for the game of golf. Unfortunately for Rory, I think that the trademark for “The Intimidator” is already registered with Dale Earnhardt.

Personally, we at Rumors have all the sympathy in the world for Greg: I can't tell you how many times I've returned from a trip to Beijing only to find my words all over the Internet. And let me tell you: It's rough.

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