Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Norman Conquest Fizzles Sports

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Norman Conquest Fizzles Sports

Article excerpt

It was one of those defining moments in sport.

As the early spring daylight was just starting to fade here late Sunday afternoon on the final day of the legendary Masters golf tournament, there stood Greg Norman, all-time leading money winner in golf (more than $12 million) on the 13th green.

He looked terrifically happy, as well he should. He had just scored a 3 on the par-5 13th hole, a dazzling eagle to take the lead in the tournament that has been nothing but aggravation and heartbreak in the 18 previous times he had failed to win. Now, at last, brimming with confidence and the shots and a shiny new attitude, he clearly would brush aside a half dozen other pretenders and finally lay claim to golf's most prestigious title. At the cusp of redemption, all Norman had to do was glide through the final five holes. Whereupon, he lost. The winner, inexplicably, turned out to be Jos Maria Olazabal from Spain, little known in the United States despite winning the Masters five years ago. His anonymity is self-inflicted, since he prefers to play in Europe and ventures to this side of the Atlantic sparingly. "What can I say?" said Olazabal after his steady 8-under-par 280. Not much explanation was needed. Clearly, Olazabal, son of a golf-course greenskeeper, was the best. Ultimately, Davis Love III squeezed in for second, relegating Norman to third, by three strokes. Yet, this Masters was not so much about Olazabal winning as Norman losing. After all, this was the Masters, at last, that Greg Norman would win. Not because he deserved it after, among other pratfalls, blowing a six-shot final-day lead in 1996 and finishing second; not because he unquestionably is one of the very best golfers never to win it; not because he now has been second here three times and third three more times; not because he has become the people's choice because of so many misadventures here. RATHER, it was obvious to everyone who believes in omens that this was Norman's year when he knocked his tee shot left on the par-3 12th hole Saturday into the vines and flowers and trees, where it lay hiding. Unable to find it, despite help of many, he furiously walked back to the tee and hit the ball again: same club, same way, 20 feet from the cup. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.