Greg Norman

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Greg Norman
— Golfer —
Gerg Norman visit USS John F Kennedy.jpg
Personal information
Full name Gregory John Norman AO
Nickname The Great White Shark, The Shark
Born (1955-02-10) 10 February 1955 (age 59)
Mount Isa, Australia
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)[1]
Nationality  Australia
Residence Hobe Sound, Florida, U.S.
Spouse Laura Andrassy (1981–2007),
Chris Evert (2008–2009),
Kirsten Kutner (2010–present)
Children Morgan Leigh, Gregory
Career
Turned professional 1976
Former tour(s) PGA Tour of Australasia
PGA Tour
European Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins 90
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 20
European Tour 14
Japan Golf Tour 2
PGA Tour of Australasia 31 (3rd all time)
Other 25
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 2)
Masters Tournament 2nd/T2: 1986, 1987, 1996
U.S. Open 2nd: 1984, 1995
The Open Championship Won: 1986, 1993
PGA Championship 2nd: 1986, 1993
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 2001 (member page)
PGA Tour of Australia
Order of Merit winner
1978, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988
European Tour
Order of Merit winner
1982
PGA Tour
leading money winner
1986, 1990, 1995
PGA Player of the Year 1995
PGA Tour
Player of the Year
1995
Vardon Trophy 1989, 1990, 1994
Byron Nelson Award 1988, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995
Old Tom Morris Award 2008
Charlie Bartlett Award 2008

Gregory John Norman AO (born 10 February 1955) is an Australian professional golfer and entrepreneur who spent 331 weeks as the world's Number 1 ranked golfer in the 1980s and 1990s. He has won over 85 international tournaments in his career, including two majors: The Open Championship in 1986 and 1993.[2] He is nicknamed The Great White Shark or sometimes simply The Shark – a reference to Norman's blond hair, size, aggressive golf style and in reflection to the native coastal animal of his birthplace.

Early years[edit]

Norman was born in Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia to Merv and Toini Norman. His mother was the daughter of a Finnish carpenter, and his father an electrical engineer.[3] As a youth, he played rugby and cricket and was a keen surfer. His mother was a fine golfer with a single-figure handicap. Norman began playing golf at 15, somewhat late for a world-class player. Naturally left-handed, he played golf right-handed.[4] Within about eighteen months, Norman went from a 27 handicap to a scratch handicap.[5] Norman attended Townsville Grammar School in Townsville, Queensland (enrolled 1964) then moved on to Aspley State High School on the north side of Brisbane.[6]

Career[edit]

Early professional career: 1975–1983[edit]

At the age of 20, Norman served as assistant professional under Billy McWilliam OAM at Beverley Park Golf Club in Sydney, New South Wales. His professional career had begun as Charlie Earp's trainee in the Royal Queensland Golf Club pro shop, earning A$38 a week.[7]

In 1976, Norman turned pro as a tournament player, and that year earned his first victory at the West Lakes Classic at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, South Australia. He joined the European Tour in 1977, and had his first victory in a European event that same season, the Martini International, at the Blairgowrie Club in Scotland.

In 1980, Norman had an emphatic victory in the French Open, winning the tournament by ten shots.[8] He won the Scandinavian Enterprise Open in Sweden with a course record of 64 in the final round.[9] Later in 1980, Norman won the Suntory World Match Play Championship with a victory in the final over Sandy Lyle. Norman also won his first Australian Open that year, his first of five wins in that event.

In 1981, Norman finished in 4th place on his debut at the Masters in Augusta, finishing just three strokes behind the winner Tom Watson. Norman had a victory in the 1981 British Masters and he won his third Martini International tournament that year by holing a 20-foot eagle putt on the last hole of a rain-saturated Wentworth Club course to finish a stroke ahead of Bernhard Langer.[10]

In 1982, Norman was the leading money winner on the European Tour. He won three European events that year, including successfully defending his British Masters title by an emphatic margin of eight shots to break the tournament record-winning margin of seven strokes by Tony Jacklin in 1973.[11] The following year, Norman joined the U.S. PGA Tour.[12]

In his first season on the PGA Tour in 1983, Norman had a runner-up finish in the Bay Hill Classic. American Mike Nicolette blew a five shot lead with five holes to play to tie over 72 holes with Norman. Nicolette won the playoff on the first extra hole with a par. Norman later said: "I'm an aggressive player. I was trying to make the putt (a 30-footer for birdie) and I was a little too firm." Norman three-putted for a bogey, missing a six-foot par putt.[13]

1984–1985: First U.S. PGA Tour win[edit]

In June 1984, Norman won his maiden PGA Tour victory at the Kemper Open, winning by five strokes. He gained worldwide prominence a week later at the 1984 U.S. Open. Norman holed a dramatic 45-foot putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff with former Masters champion Fuzzy Zoeller. At the next day's 18 hole playoff, Zoeller had a very comfortable victory, beating Norman 67–75. On the 2nd hole of the playoff, Zoeller holed an improbable 68-foot birdie putt, while Norman had a double-bogey 6 to fall three strokes behind. After nine holes, Zoeller led by five shots and he increased his lead to win by eight strokes at the end of 18 holes.[14][15]

The 1984 U.S. Open was the first of what would be numerous narrow defeats, unlucky breaks and unfortunate collapses in major championships throughout Norman's career. He was able to put the defeat behind him and win the Canadian Open in July for his second win of the year. The following week he lost in a playoff at the Western Open to Tom Watson.

In 1985, Norman won the Toshiba Australian PGA Championship and the National Panasonic Australian Open. He had two runner-up finishes in the U.S. PGA Tour that year, finishing tied for second place at the Canadian Open and at the Bank of Boston Classic.[16]

Norman in 1986

First major and the "Norman Slam" season: 1986[edit]

In 1986, Norman's many worldwide victories that year included four wins in Australia and two regular PGA Tour events; the Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational and the Kemper Open (for the second time) in a playoff on the sixth extra hole over Larry Mize, but 1986 is remembered for the Norman Slam or the Saturday Slam. Norman held the lead for all four majors through 54 holes. This meant he played in the final group for every major and had perhaps the best chance in history of winning the Grand Slam. Unfortunately for Norman he was only able to win the 1986 Open Championship at Turnberry.

At the 1986 Masters, Norman held the lead with Seve Ballesteros through nine holes on Sunday. Norman double-bogeyed the par-4 10th and fell out of the lead. With Norman seemingly out of contention, the focus moved towards Jack Nicklaus, Tom Kite and Ballesteros. By playing behind the leaders, Norman was able to rejoin the pack, impressively making four consecutive birdies on holes 14 to 17 to tie for the lead with Jack Nicklaus going into the final hole.[17] Norman's tee shot on the par-4 18th finished in the middle of the fairway, but he pushed his 4-iron approach shot well to the right of the green into the spectators. He chipped his third shot to the green, 17 feet from the hole. Needing to hole his putt for a par to get into a sudden-death playoff with Nicklaus, Norman missed his putt and made bogey. Norman's caddie Pete Bender later said of Norman's 4-iron approach shot to the 18th: "Greg wanted five straight birdies. He wanted to make history. He wasn't going to go for the middle of the 18th green."[18]

At the 1986 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, Norman again led after 54 holes, taking a one stroke lead over Lee Trevino and Hal Sutton into the final round. However, Norman faltered on the final day, bogeying the 9th and double-bogeying the 13th for a round of 75 to finish six strokes behind the winner Raymond Floyd.

Norman finally broke through at the 1986 Open Championship for his first major title. Norman shot a brilliant second round of 63 on Friday at Turnberry. On the 18th green, Norman was 28 feet from the hole needing two putts for a round of 62, to break the record for the lowest-ever round in major championship history. However, Norman three-putted, missing a 6-foot par putt. His round of 63, which tied the lowest round in a major tournament, contained eight birdies, an eagle, three bogeys and six pars.[19] Only 15 players broke par in the second round. Tom Watson described Norman's feat as "the greatest round ever played in a tournament in which I was a competitor."[20] Norman survived the weekend's brutal conditions at Turnberry, with a final round of 69 to win The Open by five shots. After being presented with the Claret Jug trophy, Norman said: "Outside of Australia, Britain was the first place that accepted me as a professional golfer. To win my first Open in front of the British public is the greatest feeling ever."[21]

Norman was again in contention at the PGA Championship, showing remarkable consistency during all four majors in 1986, the likes of which had not been seen since Bobby Jones in 1930. Once more Norman found himself in the lead at Inverness until he stumbled on Sunday again. A clear favourite for the title, he shot a 76. The tournament is famous for Bob Tway's hole-out from the greenside bunker on the 72nd hole. Tway eventually won by two strokes over Norman.

Norman's four wins in Australia in 1986 helped him to finish top of the Australian Order of Merit for the fifth time. He also topped the U.S. PGA Tour money list for the first time that year. In September 1986, Norman won the Panasonic European Open at Sunningdale Golf Club and the following month he had another victory in England, winning his third World Match Play Championship at Wentworth. Norman ended 1986 with ten worldwide victories and was officially ranked number 1 in the brand new Official World Golf Rankings.

Professional career: 1987–1990[edit]

At the 1987 Masters, Norman once again found himself tied for the lead at the 72nd hole. In his final round on the 18th green, Norman had a 20-foot putt for a birdie that would win the tournament. The ball trickled over the left lip of the cup, missing by millimetres. Norman later said: "I still don't know how the putt stayed out. I just couldn't believe it missed, nor could my caddie."[22]

After Norman's par on the 72nd hole at Augusta, he found himself in a sudden-death playoff with Larry Mize and Seve Ballesteros. On the second playoff hole, with Ballesteros eliminated, Norman hit his approach onto the green with a chance at birdie. Mize on the other hand blocked his approach right of the green. Facing one of the most difficult chips on the course, Mize miraculously holed the 47-yard (140-foot) chip.[23] Norman missed his birdie effort and came up short for the second year in a row. Norman later said: "I didn't believe it was possible to chip in from where he was. I just couldn't believe it."[24]

Norman had no wins on either the PGA or European 1987 tours. However, he won the Australian Masters in February 1987 and the Australian Open later in the year by a record ten shots at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, beating the previous Australian Open record winning margin of eight strokes by Jack Nicklaus in 1971. Norman's 1987 victory at the Australian Open lifted him back above Seve Ballesteros to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.[25]

Norman had another four wins in Australia in 1988. He finished tied for 5th place at the 1988 Masters Tournament, with an opening round of 77 and a final round of 64, which tied the record for the lowest fourth-round score at Augusta.[26] The following week Norman won the MCI Heritage Golf Classic at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina in April 1988, inspired by a leukaemia-stricken teenager who got his wish to meet Norman and watch him play; he was only supposed to watch him for two rounds, but Norman arranged for him to stay until the tournament's completion, after which Norman gave him the winner's trophy.[27]

At the 1988 U.S. Open, Norman tore tendons in his left wrist when his 7-iron struck a buried rock during his second round. After experiencing further pain at the next hole, Norman withdrew from the tournament[28] and the following month also withdrew from the 1988 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes.[29] He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in that year.[30]

At the 1989 Masters Tournament, Norman came to the 72nd hole with a share of the lead, ultimately needing a par to make a playoff or a birdie to win. However, he missed a 12-foot par putt and bogeyed the hole, missing out on a playoff with Nick Faldo and Scott Hoch by one shot.[31]

Norman had another great chance at a major in 1989, this time at the Open Championship at Royal Troon. He played brilliantly in a final-round of 64, starting his round with six straight birdies, to force his way into a playoff with Mark Calcavecchia and Wayne Grady. Norman and Calcavecchia came to the home hole, the fourth in a four hole playoff, level. Calcavecchia sliced his drive badly to the right, but was in a playable position. Norman hit a tremendous drive down the middle of the fairway. Unluckily for Norman his drive bounced to the right and bounded into a fairway bunker 310 yards from the tee. After Calcavecchia hit his approach to five feet, Norman gambled from the bunker and the ball smashed into the bunker's face and limped into another. Norman thinned his next shot and the ball careered out of bounds. That was the end, as Calcavecchia took home the title.[32]

Greg Norman practising for the Buick Classic at Westchester Country Club

In 1990, Norman missed the cut at the Masters for the first time in his career. After shooting two rounds of 78-72 for a 6-over-par 150, Norman spoke of his bewilderment and said that he was still "in a daze". He said that prior to the tournament he felt relaxed and thought he would win his first Masters.[33]

In 1990, Norman did however win the Doral-Ryder Open in March and Jack Nicklaus's Memorial Tournament for the first time (Norman was the 54-hole leader and the final round was cancelled due to rain, giving him the victory). He also lost two tournaments in ways which directly echoed his losses to Mize and Tway, and further enhanced his reputation of being unlucky at winning golf tournaments. He was leading the Nestle Invitational in Orlando, Florida by one shot until Robert Gamez holed out a 176-yard shot over water on the 72nd hole to defeat Norman. Within a few weeks, Norman was tied for the lead at the USF&G Classic in Louisiana when David Frost holed out a greenside sand shot on the 72nd hole, to beat Norman by one.

In the 1990 Open Championship at St Andrews, Norman shot 66-66 in the first two rounds to give him a share of the lead after 36 holes alongside Nick Faldo. The two rivals were four shots ahead of the field after the first two rounds. However, Faldo shot a third round of 67 to Norman's 76.[34] After the third round on Saturday, Faldo said: "Greg had a disastrous day. Nothing would go right for him and he didn't get any breaks."[35] Faldo won the tournament by five shots and Norman finished tied for sixth place.[36]

Although 1990 was not the strongest year in the majors for Norman, he finished top of the PGA Tour money list that year for the second time in his career, along with winning the Vardon Trophy and Byron Nelson Award. Later that year he won the Australian Masters in his home country for a final and record sixth time.

Professional career: 1991–2009[edit]

In 1991, Norman missed the cut at the Masters for the second successive year. He had only one top-10 finish in a major in 1991: a tie for 9th place in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. In 1992, Norman admitted how much he had been hurt by his near-misses in majors. He said: "I hid it inside me and wouldn't admit how much it hurt me. I was in denial."[37]

After a career slump in the early 1990s, Norman turned to Butch Harmon for help. Together, the two rebuilt Norman's game to top form by solving mechanical problems that had crept into Norman's swing. The new swing brought him great results including his second major at Royal St George's in 1993. In ideal conditions, Norman defeated a star studded leader board including Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Corey Pavin. Norman returned a 64, the lowest final round by a winner in Open history. Gene Sarazen, who stood at the 18th green of St George's, later said of Norman's achievement: "I never thought I would live to see golf played like this." Norman's playing partner Langer also commented, calling it the finest round he had ever witnessed. Norman's cumulative score of 267 at St George's is, to date, the lowest winning aggregate in Open Championship history.[38]

The 1993 PGA Championship was again staged at Inverness. Norman had a final green putt of around 12 feet for victory that lipped right around the hole and failed to drop, and lost the subsequent playoff to Paul Azinger on the second sudden-death playoff hole. At the PGA Championship, Norman became one of only two players to have competed in – and, like Craig Wood, to have lost – playoffs in all four of the major championships.[39]

The following year, in 1994, at The Players Championship, Norman obliterated the records for the lowest 18, 54 and 72-hole scores. After opening with a course-record-tying 63, he followed with three 67s to give him a 24-under 264 total, six strokes better than any previous winner.[40]

Norman started 1995 with a third place finish at the Masters, and again took the 54-hole lead at the U.S. Open. Even though he held the lead for most of the day, he was passed by Corey Pavin on the back nine. In June, Norman won his second Memorial Tournament, a victory that marked the beginning of one of his best years on the PGA Tour. After his win at the Canon Greater Hartford Open, aided by a chip-in in for eagle on No. 14 in the final round, Norman overtook Nick Price as the number one golfer in the world. Later, he won the NEC World Series of Golf, holing a 70-foot birdie chip shot to defeat Price in a playoff on the first hole. He ultimately held the No. 1 ranking for 331 weeks in his career. He also topped the money list for the third time and was named PGA Player of the Year. 1995 is arguable Norman's greatest year even without winning a major title.[41]

The following year, Norman came into the 1996 Masters Tournament having already won at the Doral-Ryder Open (though he also missed the cut at the Players Championship and the Bay Hill Invitational beforehand). He opened his championship at Augusta with a course record-equalling 63 which propelled him to the top of the leaderboard. He held the lead through three days for play. With five previous top five finishes at Augusta, and a 6-shot lead, Norman's long-awaited Masters victory seemed to be evident. In one of the worst meltdowns in major championship history (along with Ken Venturi shooting a final-round 80 in the 1956 Masters to lose by one shot, and Rory McIlroy's collapse, also shooting an 80 in 2011), Norman took a six-stroke lead into the final round and lost the tournament to Nick Faldo by five strokes, shooting a Sunday 78 to Faldo's 67.[42]

Norman's 6-shot lead at Augusta evaporated quickly with three straight bogeys on holes 9–11, and after Norman found water on the par-3 12th hole, resulting in a double bogey 5, his playing companion Faldo had taken the lead. Norman tried to give himself a chance down the stretch including an eagle chip on the 15th which lipped out of the hole dropping Norman to his knees. Arguably the most infamous shot of his career was on the very next hole; a hooked tee shot into the water ending any chance at victory. U.S. television channel ESPN, as part of their "ESPN25" 25th-anniversary celebration, ranked Norman's 1996 Masters disaster as the third-biggest sports choke of the last 25 years.[43]

Norman was one stroke off the lead after 36 holes during the next major (the 1996 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills), but then faded on the weekend—finishing five shots behind eventual winner Steve Jones.[44][45]

In January 1997, Norman won his largest winner's check to date, one million dollars, when he won the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf (the precursor to the WGC-Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship), making birdie on the last hole to defeat Scott Hoch in the 36-hole final. Norman then won two tournaments in 1997, but they were his final victories on the PGA Tour. In 1998, Norman missed part of the season after suffering hip and shoulder injuries.[46][47][48]

Norman did make one more run at the Masters in 1999, battling José María Olazábal on the final day, and even briefly leading the tournament after an eagle on 13, before fading to finish 3rd behind the winner Olazabal and Davis Love III. It was Norman's sixth top-3 finish at the Masters and his eighth top-5 finish at the tournament.[49]

In July 2008, despite not playing in a major for three years, Norman finished nine over par in a tie for third at The Open Championship after being the 54-hole leader by two strokes. He set the record in becoming the oldest 54-hole leader in a major championship (broken the following year by Tom Watson, also in the Open) and earned an automatic bid to the 2009 Masters. Norman missed the cut with a 4-over-par 40 on the final nine holes with a 5-over 77 for the second day. His trip to the Masters was his first since 2002.[50][51]

Norman played his warm up to the 2009 Masters Tournament at the Shell Houston Open on the PGA Tour at the Redstone Golf Club where he made the half-way cut. It was only the fourth cut he has made on the PGA Tour since 2004.[52]

Though neither was in a major or PGA Tour event, Norman had two notable faceoffs with Tiger Woods. At the 1998 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia, Norman and Woods played a close match, with Woods winning 1-up. Under different circumstances, this could have been a very significant match beyond the star power involved, but since the International Team (Norman) won by a lopsided margin over the U.S. Team (Woods), this match had little effect on the final result, though it was a riveting match between the former and current No. 1 players in the world. (Besides the Woods match, the International Team's victory over the U.S. Team in Norman's home country was one of the great moments of Norman's career, and to date still the only win for the International Team in Presidents Cup matches).[53]

Norman got payback of a sort in the 2001 Skins Game, in which he not only defeated Woods (as well as Colin Montgomerie and Jesper Parnevik), he also was the only person in Skins Game history to sweep all the prize money (1 million dollars) and leave the other players, empty handed. This was the only year that the Skins Game was contended under the controversial "validation" format.[54][55][56]

Champions Tour[edit]

Norman turned 50 in February 2005, but has kept his distance from the senior golf circuit. Partly this is because of his other interests, but also because of back and knee injuries. In 2003, Norman said: "Hitting about four million golf balls has created unfortunate wear and tear."[57] He had knee surgery in October 2005 and February 2006.[58] Norman believes his back injuries could have been averted had he been introduced to the concept of golf fitness early in his career.[59]

Norman tees off in windy conditions at the 2008 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

In May 2008, Norman played in only his third Champion's Tour event since turning 50, the 69th Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. Norman, having not played competitive golf regularly in the last several years, stayed in contention all week and wound up three shots behind eventual winner Jay Haas (+7), tying for sixth place. His wife at the time, tennis legend Chris Evert, had been a large part of Norman's consideration to enter events on the PGA and Champions Tours. "I would doubt he'd go back full time," Evert said. "But for him to keep it up, one or two tournaments a month or whatever, would be great. I would 100 per cent support him if that's what he wanted to do."[60]

After Norman's surprise success at the Open Championship, he continued his strong play, finishing in a tie for fifth at the Senior British Open Championship and fourth in the U.S. Senior Open after being the only player to shoot 72 or lower all four days. He finished 2008 playing in four majors and finishing in the top ten in all of them.

In the 2009 Senior British Open Championship, he held the 54-hole lead after playing three consistent rounds, but faltered on Sunday to finish tied for sixth, 3 shots behind eventual winner Loren Roberts.

Career achievements and legacy[edit]

Norman has earned more than $1 million five times on the U.S. PGA Tour, including three Arnold Palmer Awards as the Tour's leading money winner in 1986, '89 and '95. He was also the first person in Tour history to surpass $10 million in career earnings. He has 30 top 10 finishes in Majors, or more than 38 percent of those he has entered.[61]

Norman tees off at Royal Birkdale

In 2004, Norman said: "I just wanted to be as good as I could be. I work hard, I push myself hard, and I probably even expect too much of myself."[62]

Norman's dominance over his peers (despite his comparative lack of success in the majors) was probably best expressed in the Official World Golf Rankings: Norman finished the season on top of the ranking list on seven occasions, in 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996 and 1997, and was second at the end of 1988, 1993 and 1994.

Norman won the PGA Tour of Australia's Order of Merit six times: 1978, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1986, and 1988. He won the European Tour's Order of Merit in 1982, and topped the PGA Tour's Money List in 1986, 1990, and 1995. He won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average on the PGA Tour three times: 1989, 1990, and 1994; and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.

In 1986, Norman was awarded the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year Award, a feat he replicated in 1993 to join Muhammad Ali as multiple winners of the award. (They have since been joined by Roger Federer and Usain Bolt). In 2007, Norman was elevated to "Legend" status in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.[63] He received the 2008 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, GCSAA's highest honour, at the 2008 Golf Industry Show in Orlando. Norman is a member of The Environmental Institute for Golf's board of trustees and also chairs The Institute's advisory council. He was also the recipient of the Golf Writers Association of America's 2008 Charlie Bartlett Award.

In 2009 Norman was inducted into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame.[64]

In 2012, Norman suggested that the best golfers in the world tend to have a 15-year cycle at the top of the game. He said that he knew his days as the world's leading golfer were drawing to an end with the emergence of Tiger Woods in 1996.[65]

Norman has been a spokesman for companies including General Motors-Holden, which developed a Commodore model named after him. His own businesses interests include MacGregor Golf and Greg Norman Golf Course Design. Although he continues to play tournaments, his growing business interests take up an increasing amount of his time. His personal wealth is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars.

Playing style[edit]

Norman had a bold and aggressive style of play.[66] He is widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers in golf history, and perhaps the greatest of his era. In the fourteen seasons between 1984 and 1997, Norman finished in the top 20 in total driving on the PGA Tour twelve times and in the top 6 nine times (including first in 1988, 1989, and 1993).[67] When driving long and straight off the tee with a persimmon (wood) clubhead in his prime, Norman intimidated many of his fellow professionals. His high ball flight enabled him to carry the ball very long distances. In 2009, Nick Price said: "The best driver I ever saw was Greg Norman."[68]

However, with the advent of the "metal-wood" by TaylorMade and other subsequent advances in golf ball and golf club technology (especially the variable face depth driver), Norman's dominance was significantly diminished, as the "new technology" enabled less precise ball-strikers to achieve equal or better accuracy and distance. In 1991, Norman was the second longest driver on the PGA Tour's driving distance statistics.[69] Just six years later, by 1997 however, Norman was tied for 75th place as the longest driver on the PGA Tour[70] – an indication of the significant impact that the new "metal-wood" technology had made on many of Norman's rivals to achieve better driving distances than his as he entered his early 40s.

Norman's bold attacking style of play was rewarded with two rounds of 63 in major tournaments – at Turnberry in 1986 and at Augusta in 1996. Other sparkling rounds from Norman in majors include his 64 at Royal Troon in 1989 and a 64 at Royal St George's in 1993. Both of Norman's major victories came at The Open Championship. In 2009, a year after finishing tied for third place in the British Open at the age of 53, Norman said that he believed links golf gives a better player an opportunity to do well because he has more of a repertoire of shots in his mind. Norman said: "The younger generation nowadays that grew up with the modern technology haven't had the ability to teach themselves how to play certain shots."[71]

Other ventures[edit]

Norman's hobbies include offshore game fishing. He has owned a succession of increasingly large and luxurious boats (though his latest, called Aussie Rules, after the sport Australian rules football, may best be described as a small ship) for the purpose. He even described his "ugly" 1993 PGA Championship loss "in fishing terms, this was a mackerel in the moonlight—shining one minute, smelly the next."[72] He became a wine lover in the 1970s while playing at tournaments in Europe.[73] Based in Hobe Sound, Florida, USA he typically plays only one or two tournaments per year in Australia.

Charity[edit]

  • Merrill Lynch Shootout is a team golf event hosted by Greg Norman. The event is played at the Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida. The shootout benefits CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation.[74]
  • Greg Norman Golf Foundation: The Greg Norman Golf Foundation was formed by Greg Norman and his father Merv Norman in 1987. The foundation provides professional guidance and instruction throughout Queensland to school students and those in other educational establishments, children with specific physical disabilities and junior members of golf clubs.[75]
  • The Environmental Institute for Golf, the philanthropic arm of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), is a collaborative effort of the environmental and golf communities, dedicated to strengthening the compatibility of golf with the natural environment. In January 2003, The Institute evolved from The GCSAA Foundation, originally established in 1955, with a new name, mission and focus. The Institute concentrates on delivering programs and services involving information collection, research, education and outreach that communicate the best management practices of environmental stewardship on the golf course.[74]

Broadcasting[edit]

On 23 April 2014, Fox Sports announced that Norman would join Joe Buck as its lead commentary team for its coverage of the USGA's championships beginning in 2015.[76]

Enterprises[edit]

Great White Shark Enterprises is a multi-national corporation headed by Greg Norman with offices in Jupiter, Florida, USA and Sydney, Australia. The company's interests are primarily focused around golf and the golf lifestyle.[77]

Golf Course Design[edit]

Norman has devoted much of his time to golf course design and established his Greg Norman Golf Course Design in 1987. GNGCD has completed more than 70 golf courses on six continents.[78] Tens of thousands of players play his courses daily, from total newcomers to semi-professionals; some courses have received the Audubon Society Award for environmental stewardship.

Environmentalist and scientists have been critical of the environmental impact of other of these designs. In LaoLao Bay, a survey reports that after 20 years of construction, several negative impacts to the nearby environment have appeared, including destruction of the coral reefs. This is mostly in part to nearby road construction and not the golf course itself.[79]

Medallist Developments[edit]

Medallist Developments is a multi award winning residential developer which specialises in amenity-focused lifestyle communities. Medallist was formed in 1997 as a joint venture between Greg Norman's Great White Shark Enterprises and Macquarie Group Limited.

Southern Cross Developments[edit]

Southern Cross Developments International ("Southern Cross") is a real estate development and investment company specialising in the use of branding, lifestyle positioning and capital structuring to differentiate and enhance real estate. Southern Cross was founded by Greg Norman, Jeremy Seabridge and Brett Walsh and operates out of the Florida headquarters of Great White Shark Enterprises. Southern Cross is the exclusive licensor for Greg Norman in residential real estate applications, including the "Norman Estates", "By Greg Norman", "Norman Residences", and "Norman Club Villas" brands.[80]

Turf Company[edit]

Established in 1995, Greg Norman Turf Company licenses proprietary turfgrasses for golf courses, athletic fields and home lawns. GNTC owns the exclusive rights for GN-1 hybrid bermudagrass, which has been its main product.[81] It also was the turf of choice for Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami and XXXV in Tampa, the 1999 World Series and the 2000 Summer Olympic Games at Stadium Australia.[81] Greg Norman Turf Company is a charter member of the Southern Seed Certification Association

Wine Estate[edit]

During Norman's first trip to the United States in 1976, when he was chosen to represent Australia in the World Cup of Golf in Palm Springs, he soaked up as much of the culture as he could, including trying California's wines. In the 1990s, Norman partnered with winemakers from Beringer Blass to launch Greg Norman Estates wineries.[82]

Greg Norman Australian Prime[edit]

In 2006, Norman and Australia's leading beef producer, Australian Agricultural Company (AAco), announced the formation of a venture to develop and export a line of Greg Norman-branded premium steaks and beef products. Greg Norman Australian Prime (GNAP) produces an export line for food service and retail sale starting with two selections: Greg Norman Signature Wagyu, a super-premium steak produced from 300-day fed Wagyu cattle; and, Greg Norman Premium, produced from 130-day grain fed cattle. The brand is now offered in the United States through GNAP's U.S. importer and master distributor, Broadleaf USA.[2][83]

Valderrama Golf Course[edit]

In September 2010, The Stripe Group, co-owned by Norman, purchased the Valderrama Golf Club, in Sotogrande, Spain.[84]

GSH Investments[edit]

On 26 October 2011 it was announced that the Greg Norman lead management and investment consortium GSH Investments purchased the master associate position at Max International, estimated to a be a multi-million dollar amount. Max International is a direct selling company who's owners include Bill Guthy and Greg Renker of Guthy-Renker. The product line focuses on technology developed by Dr Robert Keller and Dr Herbert T. Nagasawa which raises levels of Glutathione in the body. [85]

Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy[edit]

On 21 August 2012 in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy held the grand opening for its headquarters and what may be the first of several academies. The 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) facility, the second largest of its type in the United States, is located at Barefoot Resort, where he designed the Norman Course, and where Norman opened Greg Norman's Australian Grille in 1999. Norman also designed the Reserve Club at nearby Pawleys Island, and his name went on the Long Bay Club academy in 2010.[86]

Autobiography[edit]

Norman released his autobiography, titled The Way of the Shark in 2006.

Personal life[edit]

On 15 March 1997, then U.S. president Bill Clinton fell down a flight of stairs at Norman's Florida home, tearing knee tendons which required surgery.[87]

While married to Laura, Norman commissioned the 228 ft luxury yacht Aussie Rules, built by the Australian ferry builder Austal/Oceanfast. The boat held four sports boats, including a 60 ft custom sportfisherman, along with stowage for related gear: 200 rods. Built of aluminium, she cruised at 15 knots with a range of 8,000 miles.[88] The boat cost $70 million, but resulted in Austal making an A$18 million loss. The boat was quickly sold by Norman in 2004 for a rumoured $77 million to the founder of Blockbuster Video, Wayne Huizenga.[89]

Norman was also an early customer for the Boeing Business Jet, which he had ordered with custom fitted bedroom and office. However, the downturn in the Asian markets adversely affected his golf course design business, and he later cancelled the order after acting as an ambassador for Boeing.[90] He eventually retained his Gulfstream V.

Marriages[edit]

Norman had a brief romance with British tennis player Sue Barker[91] before he met Laura Andrassy, an American flight attendant. Norman married Andrassy on 1 July 1981.[92] They have two children: Morgan Leigh, and Gregory. Gregory is a business management & organization major student at the University of Miami. Gregory also played with his father in a father-son team at the 2008 ADT Skills Championship in Aventura, Florida. The family lived in Hobe Sound, Florida.

In May 2006, Norman announced he and his wife would divorce.[93][94] He refused to comment on the reasons for this, other than to say there was no third party involved. In November 2009, the divorce settlement was finally reached which would provide Laura Andrassy with a total of $105 million.[95]

In September 2007, Norman announced he and American former tennis champion Chris Evert would marry.[96] The couple became engaged on 9 December 2007 and on 28 June 2008 were married in a lavish multimillion-dollar event in the Bahamas.[97] On 2 October 2009 Evert and Norman announced they were separating, saying in a statement that they "...will remain friends and supportive of one another's family."[98] Norman filed for divorce on 8 December 2009 at a courthouse in Florida.[99]

In October 2010, Norman announced his engagement to interior decorator Kirsten Kutner.[100] The couple married on the weekend of 6 November 2010 on Necker Island.[101]

Professional wins (90)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (20)[edit]

Legend
Major championships (2)
Other PGA Tour (18)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 3 Jun 1984 Kemper Open −8 (68-68-71-73=280) 5 strokes United States Mark O'Meara
2 1 Jul 1984 Canadian Open −10 (73-68-70-67=278) 2 strokes United States Jack Nicklaus
3 4 May 1986 Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational −27 (73-63-68-64-65=333) 7 strokes United States Dan Pohl
4 1 Jun 1986 Kemper Open −11 (72-69-70-66=277) Playoff United States Larry Mize
5 20 Jul 1986 The Open Championship Even (74-63-74-69=280) 5 strokes England Gordon J. Brand
6 17 Apr 1988 MCI Heritage Golf Classic −13 (65-69-71-66=271) 1 stroke South Africa David Frost, United States Gil Morgan
7 20 Aug 1989 The International 13 points (5-4-11-13) 2 points United States Clarence Rose
8 3 Sep 1989 Greater Milwaukee Open −19 (64-69-66-70=269) 3 strokes United States Andy Bean
9 4 Mar 1990 Doral-Ryder Open −15 (68-73-70-62=273) Playoff United States Tim Simpson, United States Mark Calcavecchia,
United States Paul Azinger
10 13 May 1990 Memorial Tournament Even (73-74-69=216) 1 stroke United States Payne Stewart
11 13 Sep 1992 Canadian Open −8 (73-66-71-70=280) Playoff United States Bruce Lietzke
12 7 Mar 1993 Doral-Ryder Open −23 (65-68-62-70=265) 4 strokes United States Paul Azinger, United States Mark McCumber
13 18 Jul 1993 The Open Championship −13 (66-68-69-64=267) 2 strokes England Nick Faldo
14 27 Mar 1994 The Players Championship −24 (63-67-67-67=264) 4 strokes United States Fuzzy Zoeller
15 4 Jun 1995 Memorial Tournament −19 (66-70-67-66=269) 4 strokes United States Mark Calcavecchia, United States David Duval,
Australia Steve Elkington
16 25 Jun 1995 Canon Greater Hartford Open −13 (67-64-65-71=267) 2 strokes United States Dave Stockton, United States Kirk Triplett,
New Zealand Grant Waite
17 27 Aug 1995 NEC World Series of Golf −2 (73-68-70-67=278) Playoff United States Billy Mayfair, Zimbabwe Nick Price
18 3 Mar 1996 Doral-Ryder Open −19 (67-69-67-66=269) 2 strokes United States Michael Bradley, Fiji Vijay Singh
19 29 Jun 1997 FedEx St. Jude Classic −16 (68-65-69-66=268) 1 stroke United States Dudley Hart
20 24 Aug 1997 NEC World Series of Golf −7 (68-68-70-67=273) 4 strokes United States Phil Mickelson

PGA Tour playoff record (4–8)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1983 Bay Hill Classic United States Mike Nicolette Lost to par on first extra hole
2 1984 U.S. Open United States Fuzzy Zoeller Lost 18-hole playoff (Zoeller:67, Norman:75)
3 1984 Western Open United States Tom Watson Lost to birdie on third extra hole
4 1986 Kemper Open United States Larry Mize Won with par on sixth extra hole
5 1987 Masters Tournament Spain Seve Ballesteros, United States, Larry Mize Mize won with birdie on second extra hole
Ballesteros eliminated with par on first hole
6 1988 Independent Insurance Agent Open United States Curtis Strange Lost to birdie on third extra hole
7 1988 Manufacturers Hanover Westchester Classic Spain Seve Ballesteros, South Africa David Frost,
United States Ken Green
Ballesteros won with birdie on first extra hole
8 1989 The Open Championship United States Mark Calcavecchia, Australia Wayne Grady Calcavecchia won four-hole playoff
Calcavecchia (4-3-3-3), Grady (4-4-4-4), Norman (3-3-5-x)
9 1990 Doral-Ryder Open United States Paul Azinger, United States Mark Calcavecchia,
United States Tim Simpson
Won with eagle on first extra hole
10 1992 Canadian Open United States Bruce Lietzke Won with birdie on second extra hole
11 1993 PGA Championship United States Paul Azinger Lost to par on second extra hole
12 1995 NEC World Series of Golf United States Billy Mayfair, Zimbabwe Nick Price Won with birdie on first extra hole

European Tour wins (14)[edit]

Legend
Major championships (2)
Other European Tour (12)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 11 Jun 1977 Martini International −15 (70-71-70-66=277) 3 strokes South Africa Simon Hobday
2 28 May 1979 Martini International E (75-67-72-74=288) 1 stroke Spain Antonio Garrido, England John Morgan
3 11 May 1980 Paco Rabanne Open de France −20 (67-66-68-67=268) 10 strokes England Ian Mosey
4 6 Jul 1980 Scandinavian Enterprise Open −12 (76-66-70-64=276) 3 strokes England Mark James
5 17 May 1981 Martini International −1 (71-72-72-72=287) 1 stroke West Germany Bernhard Langer
6 31 May 1981 Dunlop Masters −15 (72-68-66-67=273) 4 strokes Australia Graham Marsh
7 13 Jun 1982 Dunlop Masters −17 (68-69-65-65=267) 8 strokes West Germany Bernhard Langer
8 10 Jul 1982 State Express English Classic −13 (70-70-70-69=279) 1 stroke Scotland Brian Marchbank
9 22 Aug 1982 Benson & Hedges International Open −5 (69-74-69-71=283) 1 stroke New Zealand Bob Charles, Australia Graham Marsh,
Wales Ian Woosnam
10 20 Jul 1986 The Open Championship E (74-63-74-69=280) 5 strokes England Gordon J Brand
11 14 Sep 1986 Panasonic European Open −11 (67-67-69-66=269) Playoff Scotland Ken Brown
12 22 May 1988 Lancia Italian Open −18 (69-68-63-70=270) 1 stroke Australia Craig Parry
13 18 Jul 1993 The Open Championship −13 (66-68-69-64=267) 2 strokes England Nick Faldo
14 6 Feb 1994 Johnnie Walker Classic −11 (75-70-64-68=277) 1 stroke United States Fred Couples

European Tour playoff record (1–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1986 Panasonic European Open Scotland Ken Brown Won with birdie on first extra hole
2 1989 The Open Championship United States Mark Calcavecchia, Australia Wayne Grady Lost 4-hole playoff (Calcavecchia:4-3-3-3=13, Grady:4-4-4-4=16, Norman:3-3-4-x)
3 1997 Dubai Desert Classic Australia Richard Green, Wales Ian Woosnam Green won with birdie on first extra hole
4 1997 Peugeot Open de España England Mark James Lost to par on third extra hole

PGA Tour of Australia wins (31)[edit]

Japan Golf Tour wins (2)[edit]

Other wins (25)[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (2)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1986 The Open Championship 1 shot lead E (74-63-74-69=280) 5 strokes England Gordon J. Brand
1993 The Open Championship (2) 1 shot deficit −13 (66-68-69-64=267) 2 strokes England Nick Faldo

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP DNP T48
The Open Championship CUT T29 T10
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament DNP 4 T36 T30 T25 T47 T2 T2 T5 T3
U.S. Open DNP T33 DNP T50 2 T15 T12 T51 WD T33
The Open Championship CUT T31 T27 T19 T6 T16 1 T35 DNP T2
PGA Championship DNP T4 T5 T42 T39 CUT 2 70 T9 T12
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament CUT CUT T6 T31 T18 T3 2 CUT CUT 3
U.S. Open T5 WD DNP CUT T6 2 T10 CUT DNP CUT
The Open Championship T6 T9 18 1 T11 T15 T7 T36 DNP 6
PGA Championship T19 T32 T15 2 T4 T20 T17 T13 DNP CUT
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament T11 CUT T36 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
U.S. Open CUT DNP T59 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP T18 T18 CUT T60 DNP DNP T3 CUT
PGA Championship CUT T29 T53 CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 3 3 8 9 12 23 17
U.S. Open 0 2 0 3 5 7 19 13
The Open Championship 2 1 1 4 10 17 27 23
PGA Championship 0 2 0 5 6 12 22 18
Totals 2 8 4 20 30 48 91 71
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 18 (1981 Masters – 1985 Open Championship)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (three times)

Team appearances[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]