He agrees with Faxon that one reason may be envy. "But I wouldn't have thought so in America," says Norman, who lives in Hobe Sound, Fla. "America is built on people who started as shoeshine boys and ended up owning the shoe company. I don't understand it."
Some say Norman is alone because in 1994 he championed a proposed World Tour that would have undercut the PGA Tour. Others say they are too intimidated to speak to Norman. And some say that at a table where Norman and his ego are already seated, there's no room for anybody else.
Says Laura, "I feel sorry for Greg. What's happened is really sad. I know Greg would love to have a close male friend, someone to get drunk with and just tell anything. But there's nobody."
Greg Norman is 30 and about to greet his father, whom he hasn't seen in six months. Greg says, "Sometimes I used to think, Wouldn't it be great to give my dad a big hug? God, wouldn't that be great? I haven't seen him in so long."
For most of his adult life, Greg has not been close to his father, who still lives in their hometown of Brisbane. Greg has gone months without calling him. "What's the point?" he would say. "I can't get anything out of him anyway."
Says a longtime friend of the family, "In all his life, I don't think Greg's father ever said, 'Son, I'm proud of you. Son, I love you.' "
"Maybe all this achievement of Greg's has something to do with pleasing his dad," says Laura. "Maybe, indirectly, that's what drove him to get where he is today."
As Merv walks toward him, Greg thinks once again about hugging his father but changes his mind. "I finally realized, No, my dad's not like that," he says. They shake hands firmly.
Greg Norman is 16 and running beside death. He and a high school friend are training for a rugby game when, out of the blue, the kid drops dead right next to Greg. Simply drops as if he had been hit by sniper fire. When the boy's mother shows up, Greg has to tell her that she has lost her son.
Death visited Greg early; maybe that's why he's not scared of it now. "I don't know," he says. "I guess there's this hidden thing in me that wants to get everything done before I die."