Norman again on center stage - COPIED

By Associated PressJuly 31, 2008, 4:00 pm
USGACOLORADO SPRINGS, Co. ' Greg Norman plays more recreational tennis these days than serious golf thanks to his new bride, Chris Evert.
 
Yet, here he is hitting the links like hes 33 instead of 53.
 
Credit the bliss, and for that, thank his new bride.
 
Its reflected in my game, but its more contentment with life, Norman said.
 
Norman went straight from his honeymoon to the 54-hole lead at the British Open, where he finished third, then followed that up a tie for fifth at the Senior British Open last week.
 
Norman brings his rejuvenated game to the U.S. Senior Open this week at The Broadmoor, where Everts name is engraved in stone commemorating the opening 14 years ago of the mountain resorts world class tennis center.
 
Im not the lone wolf here, but we all know if youre happy in life, everything else in the world seems pretty darn good, Norman said. My golf is where it is now because I love being where I am now.
 
The two were married this month after his $103 million divorce became final.
 
The 53-year-old Australian golfer won the British Open in 1986 and 1993. Evert has 18 Grand Slam singles titles to her name.
 
We sit back and we have conversations about things in general and things in life and the respect we have for each other and our respective careers, Norman said.
 
Their sports may be dissimilar but their desires to win are identical, he said.
 
Its wonderful to have a companion and your wife to be able to sit back and talk about it, Norman said.
 
All this marital merriness and great golf, however, doesnt make Norman want to drop everything hes doing in his business ventures and return to the fairways full-time.
 
It really doesnt make me want to play more, he said. I just want to play better.
 
On Monday, he turned down an invitation to play in the PGA Championship, deciding to stick to a previous commitment instead of competing for the fourth straight week.
 
The PGA Championship will be played Aug. 7-10 at Oakland Hills in Bloomfield Township, Mich.
 
Norman said he would return to work next week as CEO of Great White Shark Enterprises instead.
 
It is one of the toughest decisions Ive had to make in golf, turning down the PGA, Norman said. I was torn with it. I talked about it with Chrissy a lot. I talked about it with Bob Collins, the president of my company, a lot. Eventually, it was my decision.
 
Norman indicated Wednesday that he will accept his invitation to the Masters for finishing among the top four in the British Open, however.
 
I feel great that Ive played my way into Augusta, Norman said. So, I can look forward to that come April, play myself into (shape).
 
Norman said one thing hes realized this month is his competitive nature is as strong as ever.
 
I have been disappointed in my two finishes the past two weeks, which is a very good sign, Norman said.
 
He has that same passion for designing golf courses around the globe that he has for playing them.
 
Business is no different than golf, he said. All I want to do is get better in business; all I want to do is improve in golf. Even in my whole career, I never wanted to be the best in the world. I just wanted to be the best I could be.
 
Norman tees off Thursday morning with Curtis Strange and Fuzzy Zoeller as the field of 156 golfers tries to conquer the East Course, the longest in U.S. Senior Open history, a 7,254-yard layout that plays to a par 70.
 
Norman is one of the favorites, and not just because hes hot. His game is a good fit for The Broadmoor with its 6,000 feet of elevation, notoriously tricky greens and long layout.
 
He hits the ball very high, so he does have a big advantage doing that, Tom Watson said. The higher you hit the ball in altitude here, the better, because that ball just keeps on carrying and carrying and carrying.
 
Like everyone else in the field, Norman will need a breather after this week is over, but he bristled when somebody suggested hed be taking a break by packing his clubs away.
 
Ive got golf courses under work, a couple of board meetings to go to. So, its back to business as usual, Norman said. A break, no. It wont be a break. Ill just go straight into next week. Ive got to get back to work.
 
Honeymoons, after all, cant last forever.
 
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    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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    Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

    SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

    Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

    Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

    With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

    ''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

    Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.


    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


    ''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

    Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

    Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

    He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    "I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.