Norman’s Open Honeymoon

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We wrote about Greg Norman’s new lease of life back in May and he was certainly showing it during the first round of the British Open at Royal Birkdale.

As one television commentator untidily put it: “Norman has been up in Scotland practising with his new wife.”

I think if the commentator had his chance over he would rephrase that slightly, but at least we all know what he meant in general terms.

Back in May, Norman was playing in a couple of USPGA and Champions Tour events and talking about how his relationships with then fiancée Chris Evert and son Gregory had given him a new vigour for golf and life.

“I’ve been a bit absent for a while, about five years now,” Norman said at the time. “I haven’t really focused a lot of attention on wanting to get out there and play, and now I feel I just want to get out there.”

He was certainly getting “out there” at Royal Birkdale and was looking right at home on the big stage – his first major in three years.

Still, Norman wasn’t getting carried away about his overall chances after finishing on par and one shot behind co-leaders Robert Allenby (great to see him doing well), US Open star Rocco Mediate and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.

Norman was sharing second spot with Adam Scott, who had led all the way before succumbing to two late bogies. (Let’s hope Adam doesn’t let the slip get to him and comes back and fully realises his huge potential.)

At 53, Norman admitted no one was more surprised than he over his great start in what were very difficult but improving conditions. (The wind and rain made it absolutely atrocious when Craig Parry led the tournament off earlier in the day.)

“It probably surprised me as much as anyone,” Norman said. “I don’t play that much, and I don’t practice that much. I probably practice more tennis than I do golf.

“But at the same time there’s something about this event that stimulates you. The feeling you get coming down 18 after five and a half hours of golf and the way people receive you. You don’t get that anywhere else in the world. It is a phenomenal experience and you have a little more juice that you normally would.”

Norman credits his marriage to tennis great Chris Evert in the Bahamas last month with rebalancing his life in a way that has spin-off benefits for his golf.

“I wouldn’t say getting married to Chrissy has revitalised my golf game, I think it has just revitalised my life,” he said.

Norman was full of praise for the set-up of the course and acknowledged he and the other later starters had enjoyed by far the best of the conditions.

“I wouldn’t say getting married to Chrissy has revitalised my golf game, I think it has just revitalised my life,” he said.

Norman was full of praise for the set-up of the course and acknowledged he and the other later starters had enjoyed by far the best of the conditions.

“I think it’s the best Open I’ve ever played in. The course has been set up the fairest and toughest I’ve ever seen. It’s very balanced and gives the opportunity to someone like me to get a good score on the board,” he said.

“These conditions are an equaliser. Maybe some of these young players have not experienced it before.”

“When somebody asked me the toughest conditions I’d played in and said Turnberry 1986. Some of these kids might not have been born then.”
Norman did not play in the last two Opens through injury and admitted he had no wish to return to a full competitive schedule.

“The mind still wants to play but the body doesn’t want to practise,” he said.

“It’s gone through enough pain and surgery and I just don’t want to do it any more. I still enjoy playing but I don’t enjoy standing on the range for four hours a day.”

“The other side of my life is fantastic. I have the most beautiful balance I have ever had. When it was golf, golf, golf everything else was second. Now golf is second behind everything else.”

Greg Norman’s new lease of (golfing) life

 

 

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  1. […] Norman’s Open HoneymoonBack in May, Norman was playing in a couple of USPGA and Champions Tour events and talking about how his relationships with then fiancée Chris Evert and son Gregory had given him a new vigour for golf and life. … […]

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