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Greg Norman is making noise in the modern era of golf for a variety of different reasons, but the ghosts of the golfing legend from Australia’s past continue to haunt him.
His career on the course, while successful in many aspects, still gives the golfer who was once ranked number one reason to cringe, and Greg Norman is known as the “parochial voice” of the rebel Saudi golf league. Norman has remained a divisive presence on the PGA Tour for a long time after his playing days are over.
The Australian’s anger over his numerous late-round meltdowns, most notably his infamous slide at the 1996 Masters, is exposed in a recently released documentary on ESPN called Shark. The film is part of the network’s 30 for 30 series.
Norman finished in second place at the Masters in 1986, 1987, and 1996; however, his loss to Faldo at Augusta will forever be etched into the minds of okbet golf fans. This loss further solidified Norman’s reputation as the king of the “Saturday Slam” because he was unable to finish off tournaments on the final day of competition.
Faldo won his third green jacket, five strokes ahead of Norman, despite the fact that Norman entered Sunday with a six-shot lead over the Englishman. However, Faldo’s charge, combined with Norman’s second-nine collapse, led to Faldo winning the tournament.
The documentary shows footage of Greg Norman watching the final round of the 1996 Masters for the first time, which must have been very upsetting for him to watch. When he was shown footage of his shots, the expression on his face said everything that needed to be said. His shots either went into the water, missed the green by a short distance, or missed the hole entirely.
The moment that he failed to make an eagle on the 15th hole during that fateful final round, causing him to fall to his knees in frustration and further paving the way for Nick Faldo to win the Masters, is perhaps one of his most famous shots at Augusta.
After finishing the third round with a six-shot lead, Norman revealed that his confidence started to falter when he bumped into British journalist Peter Dobereiner in the car park. Dobereiner was covering the tournament for a British publication.
Dobereiner made a witty remark, saying, “Not even you could f—- this up.”
Recalling the event, Norman said, “That was the first time I thought, ‘Oh my gosh.'”
“I’ve been infiltrated by something. Peter, may I ask you the reason for saying that? Something managed to work its way inside my head.
“When you look at it, of course it makes you feel terrible because that’s not the golfer I know, is that right?
“It’s just a moment in time where it was a confluence of crap in that period of time — that Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon — absolute misery,” the speaker said.
In the documentary, the producers arranged for Norman to play the course at Augusta National. When the 63-year-old Norman nailed an approach shot on the ninth hole, he said: “I would have taken that on Sunday in 1996.” Norman won the Masters Tournament in 1996. The past 25 years have brought such a sea change.
Even Faldo weighs in, saying to the documentary’s producers, “I don’t think I would be willing to be dragged back to somewhere where I really lost it.” Faldo is featured in the documentary.
Would you go see a bad movie again if you had to pay for it? If you thought the movie was bad, you wouldn’t pay an additional twenty dollars to see it. My first thought was, “Wow, you’re really putting yourself out there with that one.”
The only players in history with more second-place finishes than Norman are Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, and Arnold Palmer. Norman has finished in second place four times.
The golfing community also holds the belief that the Australian was “snakebit” on multiple occasions and was the unlucky recipient of bad luck throughout his career. This hypothesis originates from the observation that journeymen golfers have, on multiple occasions, made miraculous shots to steal the show from him at major championships.
Larry Mize’s seemingly impossible chip went in at the 1987 Masters, and Norman said that it brought him to tears.
In reference to the outcome, Norman remarked, “It was tough, it was really tough.”
“When I got home, I broke down and cried on the beach. All of these concerns continue to be on your mind for a considerable amount of time.
After coming in second place so many times, Norman says he was left with some lingering thoughts.
“God what did I do wrong? Is there something I’ve done wrong? Why does it keep happening to me while no one else seems to be affected by it? Inquires Norman.
It was very difficult for me because all of these silly things kept popping into my head at the same time.
“But,” she continued, “if people want to look at it from a snakebit standpoint, maybe there are other things in life that have been pretty good for me as well.” You might make up for what you lose on one hand with what you gain on the other.
The claims that Norman is a “choker” were strongly refuted by Norman, who stated that the record demonstrates just how many tournaments he won.
“In 1986, I competed in 27 tournaments and won 11 of them,” he said. “That was a banner year for me.”
“Would you still consider me a choker even if I took first place in two of the major championships? I am unable to say.”
Despite his success, he was never able to take home the Masters title. The 67-year-old man claims that he has made his peace with the mistake he made in 1996.
“Would the events of today in my life be any different if I had a green jacket? No. It would look stunning displayed in my trophy case, but having it would not have altered the course of my life in any way. He made a witty remark by saying, “I was lucky and I was unlucky.”
“The events that took place in 1996 are now a part of history. It doesn’t bother me any longer. It did hurt for quite some time, but now I’m able to talk very frankly and emotionally about it.
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