IT APPEARS Greg Norman will not make a showing at the 2011 British Open golf at Royal St George’s, scene of his magnificent 1993 victory.
The Shark had surgery on his left shoulder in February and though he hasn’t officially ruled an Open start out in the meantime, with less than two weeks to go there is little prospect the 56 year old will be attempting to recreate some of his past glory – including his two wins and his near miss at Royal Birkdale in 2008.
As a past winner Norman has an exception till he is 60 but isn’t listed among the 10 Australian golfers on the books for this year’s event.
In recent weeks Norman has been announced as a starter at the Australian Open in Sydney mid-November and at the Australian PGA Championship in Queensland the week after his Presidents Cup captain’s appearance but there has been no talk of him playing before that.
Writing on his website on June 22, The Shark talked about his shoulder, and the current form of possible Presidents Cup international team members, but his only reference to the Open was saying he would be writing his next update after the event.
“From a personal standpoint, my rehabilitation and recovery from the second surgery on my left shoulder in February continues to progress well,” he wrote on Shark.com.
“With a lot of hard work, I feel the condition of my shoulder continues to improve and I hope to start playing more golf in the near future.”
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]my shoulder continues to improve and I hope to start playing more golf in the near future[/quote]
Norman has been at Wimbledon of late but veteran Fairfax golf writer Peter Stone reported in the SMH today that he had been unable to track him down in recent days to confirm his Open plans.
12 Aussies in 2011 British Open field
There are 12 Australian golfers currently listed on the championship website as starters.
These include Robert Allenby, Aaron Baddeley, Kurt Barnes, Jason Day, Richard Green, Nathan Green, Rick Kulacz, Matthew Millar, Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, Brad Kennedy and amateur Bryden Macpherson.
The only chance other non-exempt Aussies have of gaining a coveted spot in the championship is by winning either this week’s John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour or the Scottish Open on the European Tour.
On current published starters that gives Michael Sim, Marc Leishman, Steven Bowditch, Jarrod Lyle, Aron Price, Matt Jones, Cameron Percy, Greg Chalmers, Rod Pampling a chance in the US and Andrew Dodt, Scott Strange, Matthew Zions, Daniel Gaunt, Scott Hend and amateur golfer Bryden Macpherson a chance in Scotland. Wade Ormsby needs a withdrawal for a start in Scotland – now that would be a nail-biting ride to the Open.