Fame-and-Fortune or Fortune-and-Fame
Well, there just may be. Go ask Larry Mize next time you see him. Or better yet, ask Greg Norman.
In 1986, Larry Mize was 28-years-old, a young kid from Columbus, Ga. and a promising professional golfer.
Mize had been playing full-time on the PGA Tour since 1982, and in that time had collected a win at the 83 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic, and a couple other second-place finishes.
He was a young chap who seemed to be doing pretty well for himself in the big world.
One thing Mize had never found himself in, however, had been a playoff, but that was exactly where he was come Sunday at the 86 Kemper Open.
His opponent? The emerging star from Australia Greg Norman.
Norman, at the time, was ' like Mize ' still a relatively young man himself. He was 31, and had achieved a number of overseas wins, in addition to three victories on the American tour.
Unlike Mize, however, The Shark HAD been involved in several playoffs in the States. Yet, he had never come out of any of those encounters with a victory.
First, there was the 83 Bay Hill Classic, when Norman lost to Mike Nicolette. Then, in 84, he finished second to Fuzzy Zoeller at a slightly larger event, the United States Open. Finally, Norman lost again in extra holes, this time to Tom Watson at the 84 Western.
Like so many players do, Greg Norman seemed to be having problems with the kind of direct one-on-one pressure that comes with sudden death.
What Norman really needed was NOT a Tom Watson to go head-to-head withNOT a Fuzzy Zoeller. He needed someone relatively young; someone relatively inexperienced.
He got that with Larry Mize at the 86 Kemper.
Well, you guessed it, in the end Norman disposed of the young Mize with a par. It required six holes to do so, yet he had finally tasted his first playoff win.
For Mize, his poor play on that sixth hole cost him what probably seemed like everything at the time.
The irony of the whole situation, however, was that each man was to face one another in the very next playoff that they were involved in, and this particular event may have been the most important to either of them at the time.
It was, of course, the 87 Masters.
Not only were Norman and Mize in the mix, but Spains fantastic Seve Ballesteros was also involved in the playoff.
Interestingly enough, the two-time winner at Augusta was the first to go, exiting on the first extra hole.
The momentum was now clearly in favor of Norman. Surely he must have had the psychological advantage over Larry Mize.
Whether he did or not, well never know. You see, Larry Mize got the better of Greg Norman that day at Augusta, as he poured in that now-famous chip shot on the second extra hole to score the most unlikely of birdies.
While Mize jumped up and down in a wild celebration, Norman scowled. Then, he collected himself and tried for a birdie of his own. He missed.
It was the ultimate of paybacks. For Mize, it was the defining moment in his career. For Norman, it was but one of his first tastes of the bitter defeat that he would undertake in several more majors.
In addition to that 87 edition of The Masters and the 84 U.S. Open, Norman would lose two more majors by way of playoffs over his career (he lost the 89 British Open to Mark Calcavecchia, and in the 93 PGA Championship he was surpassed by Paul Azinger). He would also finish second in four additional major championships (the 86 Masters, the 86 PGA, the 95 U.S. Open and the 96 Masters). The number of top-10 finishes Greg Norman has recorded in the majors are even greater, and in truth, a bit depressing to dwell upon.
Life has gone on for Norman, however. He has taken a couple British Opens over the course of his career and will be remembered in the sport for many, many years. He has no doubt been a fixture over the duration of the 90s, the best player in the game during its important transformation into the new millennium.
For Mize, he saw his best day come and go with that particular Masters Tournament. He too, has won a few more times and made a nice career for himself on the PGA Tour.
Yet, it is without question that he will be forever remembered for that memorable shot at the 87 Masters. After his disappointment at the Kemper just a year prior, it was truly one of the great bouncebacks.
Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ
Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET
An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.
Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
After Turkey call I will be heading over to Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, to play golf (quickly) with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson. Then back to Mar-a-Lago for talks on bringing even more jobs and companies back to the USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.
Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong
HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.
Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.
''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''
Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.
Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.
''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''
Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.
Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).
''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''
Day (68) just one back at Australian Open
Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.
Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)
What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.
Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.
Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.
Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.
Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball
Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.
In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.
"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’
Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.
“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.
“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’
Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.