Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`Shark' Bares Teeth Norman Takes Bite out of Back Nine

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`Shark' Bares Teeth Norman Takes Bite out of Back Nine

Article excerpt

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- When you're Greg Norman, missing two consecutive

cuts constitutes a major slump.

And when you're Greg Norman, the difference between playing

poorly and setting an opening-round scoring record at golf's

most prestigious event is evidently as subtle as waking up one

morning and "just letting it happen."

That was the simple formula Norman cited after he chopped

Augusta National Golf Club yesterday with nine birdies in his

last 12 holes en route to a record-tying 9-under-par 63 and the

first-round lead of the 60th Masters Tournament.

Norman equaled the course record set by friend and Hobe Sound

neighbor Nick Price in the third round of the 1986 Masters and

broke the opening-round record of 64 previously set by Mike

Sullivan in 1990 and Lloyd Mangrum in 1940. Norman leads Phil

Mickelson by two shots and is four up on Bob Tway and Scott

Hoch.

Lee Janzen is alone at 68, and five players are tied at 69:

Ponte Vedra Beach resident Vijay Singh, two-time Masters

champion Nick Faldo, Scott Simpson, David Gilford and Brad

Faxon.

Starting with a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-4 seventh hole

and highlighted by four consecutive birdies from the 12th

through the 15th holes, Norman swept past the field and broke 70

in the opening round of The Masters for only the second time in

15 appearances. The other was a 69 in his first Augusta National

round in 1981.

"I try to come in every year and get off to a good start," said

Norman, still seeking his first Masters championship and coming

off eight consecutive rounds in the 70s since winning the

Doral-Ryder open in early March.

"I woke up this morning feeling very comfortable, very relaxed

and in control. My timing came back literally overnight. I

worked with [teacher] Butch [Harmon], worked with [a personal

fitness trainer], and we just did a lot of little things to help

me relax. …

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