So, normally i blog about ministry, God, and my growth as a follower of Christ, but today I need to change the pace.
If you know me, you know full well that I am a golf nut. In fact, my love of Golf is almost surpassing my love of the NFL and the San Francisco 49ers. (but not quite)
Recently, Greg Norman, an australian golfer and former world #1 for something like 330+ weeks (Tiger Woods is the only golfer to hold the spot longer at I think 623 weeks) said that Tiger Woods is “Intimidated” by the current number 1, Rory McIlroy. Now, it is not too absurd to speak of anyone in golf being intimidated by another player. Golf is not a physical sport, so, as Tiger said, no one’s going to come across the middle and cream you. But in golf, there are players who are intimidated by the moment, and very few players that are not. Tiger never has been. When players have gone up against Tiger head to head with the tournament on the line, it’s not necessarily the moment that gets them (or got them in the past) it is how Tiger gets STRONGER in those moments. He is or was hard to beat.
Now, Norman on the other hand, he wasn’t hard to beat. He melted down on Sundays in Majors with the lead like a scope of ice cream during the summer in the desert. What we saw from Rory at the Masters in 2010, or Adam Scott this year at the Open Championship is NOTHING compared to what Norman did on a regular basis.
Greg Norman is responsible for the term, “Saturday Slam”. In 1986, he held the 54 hole lead in EVERY major. He lost it in all but the Open Championship. He finished 2nd or worse in every major during his career with the exception of the ‘86 and ‘93 Open championships, respectively. Almost all of those close calls, were come from ahead CHOKES. If Norman had the same trouble eating meals as he does closing golf tournaments when the pressure is on he’d be dead. Either that or he’d need a doctor to follow him around waiting to perform the Heimlich maneuver. And that doctor would be overworked.
And just to make sure the point is overstated, this trend has followed him into his Champions Tour career. In 2009, at the Senior Open Championship, again he held the 54 hole lead. and again, he melted down, shot 71 and finished T-6. He almost never rises to the occasion. His career reads like a Greek tragedy. One thing is for sure. He was a great golfer 3 rounds out of 4.
In terms of credibility, Norman has alot when speaking of intimidation. He knows what it is. He felt it. He knows that while others rise up, it tightens those with lesser constitutions. He speaks of intimidation of McIlroy, because of his success. Here is what he says…
“What I’m seeing is that Tiger’s really intimidated by Rory,” Norman said, according to the report. “When have you ever seen him intimidated by another player? Never.
“But I think he knows his time is up and that’s normal; these things tend to go in 15-year cycles. Jack (Nicklaus) took it from Arnold (Palmer). I took it from Jack, Tiger from me, and now it looks like Rory’s taking it from Tiger.” (via Huffington Post)
The sad thing is, what Norman says is simply transferring what he went through all the time to Tiger. Norman felt that he missed his chance every time he hit a bad shot. That’s why he couldn’t recover. That’s why he is known more for being the greatest 3 round payer in golf history, and the worst closer ever. So for the worst closer to talk about how the sports BEST closer arguably EVER is intimidated and thinks his time is ending is ridiculous. Greg Norman can’t even touch what Tiger has done. Tiger knows it. Rory knows it.
Everyone knows it.
Say what you want about Tiger Woods. He is not known as an accessible guy or even a good guy on tour. Not alot of people like him after his true self was exposed. He is hot headed, arrogant (always has been), aloof, dodgy, and selfish. I feel bad for his children, his ex-wife, and his mother. I think his father would have been incredibly disappointed in his son. But Tiger’s golf game, and his ability to stand tall in big moments….impeccable. Untouchable. Unflappable.
I have always respected Greg Norman and thought he was one of the greats of the game. But my advice to a guy who will never read this blog or care about a 24 handicapper and his thoughts, your opinion as it pertains to the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) is comical, and makes you look a little sad. It might be best to keep it to yourself.
ok. Enough golf ranting. And in case you read this and think I am defending Tiger woods, you are mistaken. I am merely not impressed by a guy known for failing talking about a guy known for succeeding. Normans critique comes off as one of Woods, when in reality it is his own self-image.