As a golfer who has seen it and done it all in golf, business and beyond, a Greg Norman press conference is usually an interesting place to be, as was the case this morning at the Turnberry media centre.
The subject matter quickly turned to the 63 he shot here in the second round on his way to winning the 1986 Open. Does he think his brilliant 63 might be repeated this week? “No,” was Norman’s assured answer, largely because he doesn’t believe golfers will be able to take driver off many tees, leaving long approaches into a lot of greens. His is in agreement with Tiger Woods and Paul Casey on that one, among others.
Conversation turned to competing in a major at the age of 54, to his hopes of repeating his remarkable Open performance of last year, to Arnold Palmer’s contribution to the evolution of the professional game, to the global economy and the fortunes of Norman’s business empire, and to the
support he gets from wife Chris Evert, in terms of also being an athlete who reached the very summit of her sport.
Evert is a three-time Wimbledon champion, and when Norman was asked whether he has defeated his wife on the tennis court yet, he said: “I take one or two points off her, but when she wants to win five or six or 10 points in a row, she can do that easily too.”
It would be exciting to see Norman contend again at Turnberry, but as was the case at Birkdale in 2008, he will probably need the weather to deteriorate considerably to let his experience tell. Still, he’s got more chance here than he has of getting a result against his wife on the tennis court, that’s for sure.