Norman Makes Debut at Senior British

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 18, 2005, 4:00 pm
Senior British OpenGreg Norman better watch out or hell find an old familiar sensation welling up inside him. After concentrating on his far-flung business interests the last few years, Norman suddenly finds that competitive golf is very inspirational.
 
After playing ' and making the cut ' at St. Andrews last week, Norman goes the short distance up the coast this week to the Senior British Open Championship in Aberdeen, Scotland. It will mark his debut into the world of senior golf.
 
Greg Norman
Greg Norman finished T60 at the Open Championship at St. Andrews.
Norman has busily been downplaying the competitive side of golf the past 4-5 years, saying he now has so many other interests that golf has slipped down the scale considerably. I dont thrive on the game of golf like I used to, he said only last month. Ill be honest about that. I made a very conscious effort to make sure that I had an opportunity to do something different when I decided to step away from golf. And Ive been very fortunate to put a lot of things into play.
 
But last week he turned in four good rounds of 72-71-70-76 at the British Open after undergoing back surgery earlier in the year. Normans performance was made even more impressive because of the fact that he had played only once this year, missing the cut in the Heineken Classic in his native Australia in early February. He was scheduled to play in the Dubai Desert Classic in March, but instead opted to bite the bullet and get the surgery done in Pittsburgh.
 
Norman, whose rank in the world of golf is 763, hasnt really been a world force since he was seventh on the U.S. money list at the end of 1997. In 1998 he underwent the first of two shoulder surgeries and played in just three events. And then he hit the time that he refers to as a no-mans zone.
 
There is the five-year period in your golfing career between 46 and 50 when you are wallowing around in a no-mans zone, he said in Melbourne while preparing for the Heineken earlier this year.
 
You like to compete as a regular, but are you as sharp as the younger players? No, Norman said. I should not speak for other players, but I found it a bit of a void.
 
Its quite appropriate that he made his return from surgery in the British Isles. Norman has had great success here, winning the British Open twice.
 
I've always had, fortunately for me, great support from the British fans, Scottish fans, Irish fans, he said. I honed my skills here in Europe before I went to the United States. And with a Claret Jug under your belt, it helps, as well.
 
I love playing golf in front of especially British, German crowds. They seem very respectful of the circumstances. You can hit a shot that might be 60 feet from the hole, but they know that was a hell of a shot to get it 60 feet from the hole. And they respect you for that. They understand the game of golf and the conditions you're playing under, because a lot of them play this type of golf course. That's why I enjoy playing in front of them.
 
Norman seems to have found his niche now at 50, having combined his numerous business interests with his new-found zeal for tournament golf. For several years he concentrated more on his life away from the course, but slowly the pendulum has swung back towards the tournaments.
 
I have never felt more at peace with myself, where I am in the world and all that, Norman said. It is the balance I have in my life right now. If I feel this great at 50, I have plenty more great years ahead of me.
 
And he feels that being so well-grounded in his business dealings will pay dividends in the other life.
 
The drive to be successful on the golf course is the same drive to be successful in business, he says. I still approach life the same way, I still do a lot of due diligence, I still do a lot of preparation. I trust my people around me, like trusting the coach, trusting the caddy. Im not the smartest guy in the world, but I know where I want to go.
 
FIVE FOR THE TITLE
Tom Watson
All a question of his back holding up. Watson got re-acquainted with links-style golf last week at the British Open at St. Andrews, and by Sunday he had finished in a tie for 41st. He won this tournament in 2003. If he stays healthy and pain-free, watch out for him this week.
 
Carl Mason
Number 1 on the European Seniors list, Mason just barely missed this trophy two years when he double-bogeyed the 72nd hole and lost in a playoff to Watson.
 

Torrance, who began last season as a Champions Tour regular, finished the year on the European Tour and has played six times on that circuit already in 2005. Still, he stands in fifth place on the tours money list, despite have played four fewer times than Mason.
 
Mark James
The Englishman stands 18th on the Champions Tour money list with $539,900. He won earlier in the year at the ACE Group Classic and has three other top 10s.
 
Des Smyth
Irishman Smyth plays the Champions Tour now also, but his home is situated on a links course, much the same as Royal Aberdeen. Smyth also has won this year on the Champions ' twice. He is sixth on tour in earnings.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Senior British Open
  • Bio - Greg Norman
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    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

    Getty Images

    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

    Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

    Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

    The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

    Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

    "I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

    Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

    Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

    Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.