by Jeff Skinner
One thing we all can agree on is that everyone has their own opinions on everything from politics to golf swings to mustard or ketchup on your dog. The difference between many of us is that some have a bigger forum than others. And some with that forum refuse to let it go, such is the case of Greg Norman.
Norman came out this week with another attack on Tiger Woods saying that Tiger is intimidated by Rory McIlroy. Both Woods and McIlroy have joked about the comments and to Tiger’s credit he hasn’t fired back at Norman.
But this isn’t the first time Norman has gone after Woods. Norman said that Woods had lost his game to the point where he would never win another major. He complained that Tiger never called him when Woods moved into his neighborhood and even chastised Fred Couples for selecting him to the 2011 Presidents Cup Team.
It appears that these two have a bit of history dating back to the mid nineties when Woods and Norman spent plenty of time together as Woods developed his game and Norman’s faded. John Strege details the divide between the two that may have started when Norman started to pass himself off as a mentor for the up and coming Woods.
I grew up as a big fan of Greg Norman. He was the best in the game back then and his commanding presence and go for broke style was a magnet for millions of golf fans. I was there on that Monday at Winged Foot for his playoff with Fuzzy Zoeller at the U.S. Open and of course Norman lost.
But his fans, myself included, stuck with him through his up and downs and his major championship nightmares. I stayed a Norman fan for a long time and always felt cheated that he rarely played on the Champions Tour. But Norman had bigger fish to fry than play golf. He had an empire to build and he’s done a great job with his brand. But I still remained a fan up until a few years ago when Norman insisted on carrying on his romance with Chris Evert in public. We couldn’t turn around without seeing a picture of the fifty plus love birds carry on like teenagers at the prom. Do you need that much attention? We all know who you are, give me a break.
I’ve come to take everything that Norman says now with a grain of salt. There always seemed to be an agenda behind his statements and maybe this one is another cry for attention or his way of getting back at Woods for what he perceived as a slight by Woods. But Norman needs to listen up and not to me.
Jack Nicklaus has come out and let his opinion be known on the “intimidation” remarks. “Quiet, Greg, quiet. Down boy,” Nicklaus said “I think Tiger had a pretty darn good year this year. It’s the first time he has gotten himself back into contention in the majors; he didn’t finish them and I think by his own admission he said he had a hard time finishing them.
“That’s like anything else. He had a pretty big event in his life that changed a lot of things, and he has to learn how to go back and play again. I think he’s learned how to play again; now he has to learn how to finish again.
“I think Tiger has a lot of wins left in him.”
No one has a more powerful voice in golf than Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus and Norman are friends and maybe it’s time Norman took his friend’s advice.
Quiet down Greg, please quiet down. You’re off base here and making a fool of yourself and it’s just plain ugly.