Greg Norman at OKBet Golf
Greg Norman is creating waves for a variety of reasons in the current golf age, but the ghosts of his past continue to haunt him. Greg Norman, the renegade Saudi golf league’s nationalistic voice, has remained a polarizing presence on the PGA Tour long after his playing days, but his career on the course, though successful in many ways, still makes the former world No.1 shudder.
The Australian’s anger about his multiple final-day catastrophes, most notably his notorious spiral at the 1996 Masters, are laid raw in a new ESPN 30 for 30 documentary named Shark.
Greg Norman led the Englishman by six shots coming into Sunday, but Faldo’s surge, combined with Norman’s second-nine collapse, resulted in Faldo earning his third green jacket, five strokes clear of the Aussie. The documentary shows Norman witnessing the final round of the 1996 Masters for the first time, which he finds difficult to watch. When shown film of his shots hitting the water, falling short of the green, or just missing the hole, his expression told it all at OKBet Golf.
One of his most memorable shots at Augusta occurred when he missed an eagle on the 15th during that crucial final round, collapsing to his knees in anguish and opening the way for Faldo to win at OKBet Golf.
After completing the third round with a six-shot lead, Norman said that his confidence began to waver when he ran across British journalist Peter Dobereiner in the car park. Not even you could screw up this, Dobereiner said. “That was the first time I thought, ‘Oh my god,'” Norman recounted. “Something got inside of me, Peter; why did you say that? Something got inside of my mind. “When you look at that, you have to feel bad because that’s not the golfer I know, right? “It was simply a combination of trash in that period of time – from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon — utter agony on OKBet .”
OKBet Golf producers arranged for Norman to play the Augusta National course in the documentary, and the 63-year-old hammered an approach shot on the ninth hole, saying, “I would have taken that on Sunday in ’96. What a difference 25 years makes.” “I don’t believe I would be willing to be dragged back to there when I truly lost it,” Faldo told documentary makers. “Would you pay to see a lousy movie again?” “You wouldn’t spend another $20 if you felt it was a horrible movie; that’s putting yourself through the ringer, I’d think.”
Greg Norman has finished second four times in his career, behind only Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, and Arnold Palmer. There’s also speculation among golfers that the Australian got “snakebit” on multiple occasions and was the victim of poor luck. That notion is based on the fact that journeymen golfers stole his thunder in majors on several occasions. When Larry Mize’s unbelievable chip sank in at the 1987 Masters, Norman stated he sobbed.
“It was terrible, terribly tough,” Norman remarked of the outcome. “I returned home and wept on the beach for months and months; all these questions run through your brain for months and months.” After so many second-place results, Norman remembers having lingering feelings. “God, what did I do wrong? Did I do anything wrong? Why is it always happening to me and nobody else?” Norman wonders. “All these dumb thoughts flash through your head, and it was quite tough for me.” “(However,) if people want to look at it from a snakebite perspective, maybe there are other things in life that have been quite wonderful for me as well.” “OKBet Golf What you lose on one hand, you may get on the other.” Norman fiercely denied being a “choker,” claiming that his record reflects how many tournaments he had won.
“In 1986, I played 27 events and won 11 of them,” he remarked. “Would I still be a choker if I won two of the majors?” “I’m not sure.” He won two British Opens but never the Masters, and the 67-year-old thinks he’s come to terms with his blunder in 1996. “Would my life today be different if I wore a green jacket?” No. It would have looked great in my trophy cabinet, but it would have made no difference in my life. “I was fortunate and unlucky,” he said. “What occurred in 1996 is now history.” I’m comfortable with it now. It hurt for a long, but now I can talk about it honestly and emotionally.”
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