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Greg Norman looks to make golf history at British Open

Courtesy of Greg Norman Golf Course Design

Greg Norman looks to make golf history at British Open

Great White Shark has deep Colorado, Vail Valley ties
By David O. Williams

July 19, 2008 —  Greg Norman takes a shot at the golf history books Sunday as he enters the fourth and final round of the British Open at Royal Birkdale as the oldest player to lead a major championship after 54 holes.

On a day when the wind was howling, the Great White Shark calmly navigated the choppy seas, and at the age of 53 the two-time British Open winner better known for the tournaments he lost (his famous collapse at the Masters in ’96 was the last time he held the lead heading into the final round of a major) has a two-stroke lead after shooting a 72 Saturday.

Norman, who recently married 18-time major tennis champion Chris Evert, would be the oldest winner of a major golf championship ever, but he’ll be haunted by past failures Sunday (TV coverage starts at 6 a.m. MST on ABC). He’s the only player to have lost all four majors in a playoff.

Still, golf’s ultimate tragic figure told ABC, “I’m very, very happy in my mind,” after his round on Saturday, and that may bode well for the Australian.

What does all this have to do with Vail and Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (the usual focus of Check out my Real Lives story on Norman, written for Rocky Mountain Golf in 2006, for that answer.

I interviewed Norman for a magazine based in Colorado while I was working at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Sestriere, Italy, and Norman was in Australia. For some reason I like the geographical oddity of that fact.

Clearly, a great deal has changed for Norman since I wrote the piece, and he obviously seems to be in a better place both physically and mentally since ’06 (he last played a major in 2005). Now he has the perfect opportunity to exorcise all the demons from his golfing past.

Safe to say the Vail Valley will be pulling for the Shark.



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