Norman again on center stage

By Associated PressJuly 30, 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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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


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    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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