Nick Price, Fred Couples and Corey Pavin were at the height of their games. So was Nick Faldo. Bernhard Langer was the ultimate golfing machine. All had an impact, but this one, at Royal Sandwich, was all Norman.
His final round of 64 was nothing short of awesome. He hit every drive, every iron shot perfectly. He missed a two-footer at 17, but every other putt he made. It was, in short, nothing but a clinic.
He began the final round one shot behind Pavin and Faldo, tied with Langer. Pavin was jittery from the start and never was a factor, but Faldo and Langer remained to battle with Norman. Norman and Langer both birdied the first and were tied with Faldo.
Faldo bogeyed the fourth, missing a five-footer after nearly holing a chip, and made bogey. Though he gamely battled to the end, he never would again lead.
Norman gave Faldo and Langer an opening when he should have birdied the par-5 7th but only parred. He was two strokes in the lead at the time, but Langer birdied to pull within a stroke. But by the time the nine-hole turn came, Norman was out in 31 strokes and had again opened a two-stroke lead.
The back nine was all Norman. Langer drove out of bounds on No. 14 and made double bogey. He birdied the next two holes, 15 and 16, but the fiasco at 14 ruined him ' that and Normans sparkling play.
Gene Sarazen, watching from close by, said he had never seen golf played as Norman had played that day. And once he had finished, Norman reflected back and said, yes, it was good as could play.
I cannot say that never in my career have I gone around a golf course and not missed a shot, but today I did, he said. I hit every drive perfectly, I hit every iron perfectly. Im in awe of just how well I hit the golf ball today.
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