Greg Norman

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Greg Norman (born February 10, 1955 in Queensland, Australia), is an Australian professional golfer who spent 331 weeks as the world's number one ranked golfer in the 1980s and 1990s. He is nicknamed "The Shark".

Career outline

Norman began his career as a trainee in the Royal Queensland golf shop, earning AUD 38 a week. The first professional tournament he won was the 1976 West Lakes Classic in his home country, and he soon moved on to success on the European Tour and later the PGA Tour.

Norman won The Open Championship twice, in 1986 and 1993. Despite "The Great White Shark"'s (a reference to a shark inhabiting Australian waters as well as Norman's size and blond locks) huge success on the US PGA TOUR and many wins in other events around the world, Norman will be forever regarded as underachieving given his talents by missing out in The Masters, US Open, and PGA Championship. He was equally a victim of his own bad luck, and good luck on the part of his fellow golfers (losing a near-certain PGA Championship win in 1986 after Bob Tway holed a bunker shot, and losing The Masters the following year in a playoff by an even more miraculous 45-yard chip shot from Larry Mize), and a couple of infamous "chokes" where Norman's wobble-prone putting got the better of him. To underscore this point, in 1986, he led all four majors after the third round, but only won The Open. Norman's most infamous "choke" may be The Masters in 1996, where he blew a six-stroke lead in the final round and lost the tournament to Nick Faldo by five strokes. He has twenty nine top ten finishes in majors.

After Jack Nicklaus, Norman was regarded as one of the game's greatest long hitters. In his heyday, driving off the tee, usually incredibly straight, he intimidated most of his fellow professionals. This was all with a persimmon (wood) head on the driver. With the advent of the "metal wood" by Taylor Made and subsequently the great advances in golf club technology especially the variable face depth driver, his dominance became much diminished. This was beacause the "new technology" enabled less precise ball striking with equal or even better results in accuracy and distance. Subsequent advances in golf ball technology, enabling the ball to be hit further and stopped faster than ever before has only served to even out the abilities of players. Both the Royal and Ancient and the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus, have argued against the advances in technology, saying that it make classic courses obsolete and even out the competitiion too much. The greatest case for and against this has been Tiger Woods, whose achievments have ridiculed the great courses of the past, but placed him well ahead of the rest of the professional golfers in the world.

Norman's friendly image and articulate nature has made him a perfect spokesman for a wide range of products, including the usual array of golf equipment but extending well beyond. Whilst continuing to play tournaments, his growing business interests take up an increasing amount of his time. His personal wealth is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of US dollars.

Norman's hobbies include offshore game fishing—he has owned a succession of increasingly large and luxurious boats (though his latest may best be described as a small ship) for the purpose. Based in Hobe Sound, Florida, he typically plays only one or two tournaments per year in his homeland.

He married his American (?) wife Laura in 1981 and has two children.

In 1986 Norman was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award, a feat he replicated in 1993 to join Muhammad Ali and Björn Borg as multiple winners.

Results in major championships

Norman had 29 top-ten finishes in the majors between 1979 and 1999. In 2005 he qualified to play on the Champions Tour. He will probably continue to enter some majors as a senior, but he is unlikely to contend for further major titles.

Tournament 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990
The Masters DNP DNP DNP DNP 4 T36 T30 T25 T47 T2 2 T5 T3 CUT
U.S. Open DNP DNP T48 DNP T33 DNP T50 2 T15 T12 T51 WD T33 T5
The Open Championship T71 T29 T10 CUT T31 T27 T19 T6 T16 1 T33 DNP T2 T6
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP T4 T5 T42 T39 CUT 2 70 T9 T12 T19
Tournament 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
The Masters CUT T6 T31 T18 T3 2 CUT CUT 3 T11 CUT T36 DNP DNP
The Open Championship T9 18 1 T11 T15 T7 T36 DNP 6 DNP DNP T18 T18 CUT
PGA Championship T32 T15 2 T4 T20 T17 T13 DNP CUT CUT T29 T53 CUT DNP

DNP = did not play
WD = started but withdrew
CUT = missed the half way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place.

PGA Tour wins

European Tour wins

Wins in Australasia

  • 1976 Westlakes Classic
  • 1978 New South Wales Open, Traralgon Classic, Caltex Festival of Sydney Open, South Seas Classic
  • 1979 Traralgon Classic
  • 1980 Australian Open
  • 1981 Australian Masters
  • 1983 Australian Masters, Stefan Queensland Open, National Panasonic New South Wales Open
  • 1984 Victorian Open, Australian Masters, Australian PGA
  • 1985 Toshiba Australian PGA Championship, National Panasonic Australian Open
  • 1986 Stefan Queensland Open, National Panasonic New South Wales Open, West End Jubilee South Australian Open, National Panasonic Western Australian Open
  • 1987 Australian Masters, National Panasonic Australian Open
  • 1988 Palm Meadows Cup, ESP Open, PGA National Tournament Players Championship, Panasonic New South Wales Open
  • 1989 Australian Masters, PGA National Tournament Players Championship
  • 1990 Australian Masters
  • 1995 Australian Open
  • 1996 Ford South Australian Open, Australian Open
  • 1998 Greg Norman Holden International

Other wins

See also

External links

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