Greg Norman A Contender

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There was a small but sharp outcry after the televised Saturday interview at the Merrill Lynch Shootout during which Chris Evert said she has told Greg Norman that he is too good an athlete to be a golfer.
 
Certain other players were offended, taking Everts remarks as an insult because, they believed, she was implying golfers werent athletes.
 
Others in the golf world defended Evert.
 
I think we need to look at what she really meant by her comments, said Arizonas Mike Malaska, who shows up regularly on most top 100 golf teacher lists. Malaskas special areas of expertise are physical fitness as it pertains to golf and the biomechanics of the swing.
 
Greg Norman could have been a superstar in a lot of other sports, Malaska said. You dont necessarily have to be that good of an athlete to play golf at a high level.
 
But, Malaska added, if you want to take on Tiger Woods, you are going to have to be a great athlete and a superbly-conditioned one. Greg Norman, next to Tiger, is quite possibly one of the one or two of the best athletes ever to play golf, Malaska said.
 
Which, Malaska believes, is part of what Evert was trying to say. People are reacting to her statement, he said, and not analyzing where she was coming from.
 
In other words, if Everts perceived jab serves as a wake up call to golf underachievers, it wont be a bad thing.
 
KNIGHT SCHOOL:
Stanford University has long fostered a reputation as a school which, among other things, allows celebrity students to learn in relative anonymity.
 
Tiger Woods has said many times how much he enjoyed his years there because most of the rest of the student body was more preoccupied with their own challenges. Michelle Wie, currently a Stanford freshman, does not, according to sources at the school, receive any kind of special treatment or attention.
 
Now comes a long front page feature in Mondays Wall Street Journal detailing the recurring presence of Nike chairman Phil Knight in creative writing classes at Stanford.
 
The article detailed Knights desire to learn more about writing and one day publish his own novel. The 69-year-old Knight and his wife, according to the Journal piece, often go out for beers with undergraduates after evening classes to discuss subject material.
 
The Journal quoted one former Stanford classmate of Knights saying he (Knight) doesnt reveal too much about himself, But you understand more is going on underneath.
 
This much is known about Knight and Stanford. He got his MBA from Stanford in 1962 and last year announced a $105 million donation to its Graduate School of Business.
 
Which would certainly explain the access granted to Knight in Stanfords classrooms. Sharing the academic experience with him is not without its perks. According to the Journal, at the final session of one recent Stanford writing seminar Knight gave each student a $200 Nike gift certificate.
 
REPLAY:
Just stumbled across this quote from Padraig Harrington uttered in the days leading up to this years U.S. Open at Oakmont in June. He was responding to a question about why, up until that point, no European had won a major championship in the 21st century.
 
I think thats a way of just using historical data to try and put something on a future event, Harrington said. At the end of the day, who knows who is going to win this tournament this week? If the Europeans have won the last 25, would we have better or less chance of winning the next one? The law of averages says a European will win one eventually.
 
South American Angel Cabrera won at Oakmont but eventually for Harrington wasnt far behind. He won the very next major on the 2007 schedule'the Open Championship at Carnoustie'in a playoff with Spaniard Sergio Garcia.
 
SHOT OF THE YEAR:
Its that time of the year when the pundits pick the best and worst of everything in golf from Lorena Ochoas shining to Garcias whining.
 
My vote for Shot of the Year is a missed putt.
 
It was the 62nd shot of the day for Tiger Woods and it came on his 18th hole of the day Friday in the second round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa. The putt was three quarters of the way down before it popped out. Had it remained in the hole, Woods 62 would have stood as the lowest round every shot in a major championship.
 
Moments later Woods insisted he had shot 62 .
 
STRICTLY STRICKER:
Winning the PGA TOURs Comeback Player of the Year award for the second straight season, which Steve Stricker did Tuesday, is downright oxymoronic.
 
How do you come back one year if youve already come back the previous year?
 
Even more interesting is contemplating what Stricker, now ranked No. 4 in the world, would have to do to win the same award again in 2008.
 
Well ... if he captures all four majors in 2008, plus THE PLAYERS and the FedExCup and overtakes Tiger Woods atop the world rankings, people might call that a comeback of sorts. But how could you call that a 'comeback if it takes him to a place hes never been?
 
Suffice it to say, there will be no Stricker three-peat for Comeback Player of the Year in 2008.
 
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