Norman Committed to PGA Tour

By Associated PressJuly 27, 2005, 4:00 pm
KETTERING, Ohio -- Greg Norman's birth certificate says he is 50, although he still doesn't consider himself a senior golfer.
 
Even though some British publications dubbed him ``The Great Gray Shark'' last week, Norman still wants to win on the grand stage of the PGA Tour. None of this over-50 tour stuff for him.
 
``If I play more golf and feel competitive, it's going to be on the regular tour,'' Norman said Wednesday after a practice round for Thursday's opening round of the U.S. Senior Open at NCR Country Club. ``I don't see myself adjusting my schedule for senior tournament golf.''
 
Norman hasn't won a PGA Tour event since 1998. He had surgery March 22 to relieve the back pain which had limited his quality of life -- and certainly the quality of his golf -- over the past few years.
 
In his first tournament back after rehabbing, he played well at the British Open two weeks ago before shooting a 76 in the final round that left him tied for 60th. Last week in his seniors debut at the Senior British Open, he shot a 76 and then was the hottest golfer in the field with rounds of 67, 70 and 68 to miss a playoff by a shot.
 
Despite that third-place finish, Norman still wants to be measured against Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, not Dana Quigley and Doug Tewell.
 
He is not planning on playing in a seniors event -- other than the major championships -- this year or next.
 
``If my competitive level in my game is solid like its starting to show signs of, I'd much rather go out there and play the regular tour because I still hit the ball long enough,'' said Norman, who has won 20 PGA Tour events, including two British Opens. ``I feel like I'm above average than most players, even on the regular tour, so why not get out there and compete against those guys?''
 
Hale Irwin, a success on both tours, said players turning 50 should embrace their age and play against their peers.
 
``The adjustments have to be made in your head,'' Irwin said. ``You have to make it in your mind that you are now going to play here (Champions Tour) and that's it.''
 
Irwin, who has won two Senior Opens to go with two U.S. Opens, is among the favorites this week. Defending champion Peter Jacobsen, Tom Watson (coming off a playoff win over Des Smyth at last week's British Senior Open), Ray Floyd (who won the 1969 PGA Championship at NCR), Tom Kite, Jay Haas and Craig Stadler are also in the field.
 
In addition to Norman, Curtis Strange and Loren Roberts also are making their first appearance in a U.S. Senior Open.
 
Norman has played well in USGA events, although he's never won one. He lost in a playoff to Fuzzy Zoeller at the 1984 U.S. Open at Winged Foot and finished second to Corey Pavin at Shinnecock in 1995.
 
With a USGA championship missing from his resume, he'd be more than happy to win the first one he plays in his sixth decade.
 
``I've always wanted to win one,'' he said, referring to the Open. ``I came close enough that you could almost taste it. It didn't happen, so obviously the next best thing would be to win this week. I'd love to put it on my mantel.
 
``I think that would be a very fitting start to my 'old man's' career.''
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Senior Open
     
    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

    Getty Images

    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

    Getty Images

    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

    Getty Images

    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry