The F-14's flaps won't go down, which means the fighter can't slow down enough to land on the postage stamp of an aircraft carrier below them. It's not easy to land a 50,000-pound jet on a ship that's bobbing in 15-foot Pacific swells and to catch the plane's tail-hook on one of four cables that are three inches in diameter and spaced 40 feet apart, all the while firing the throttle forward to full power in case you miss and have to bolter. But even that isn't risky enough for You Know Who. "We've got to hit either the third or the fourth wire," he tells Weasel. "One and two are for wussies."
But right now they might not hit anything pleasant. After five minutes of trying, Weasel still can't get the flaps down. He and Norman might have to find a runway on land and come down hot.
So, Greg, weren't you a little scared up there?
"Nahhhh," Norman will say afterward. "It just meant we got to look at the sunset longer, mate!"
Eventually Weasel gets the flaps down, and they land safely. On the number 4 cable. Good man.
Greg Norman is leaving the lobby of his hotel in Orlando at the same time as several other players. Four months earlier Norman received a call from a friend of his—let's call him Joe—asking if Norman could pull a few strings and get him into a tournament in Australia. Norman called the tournament director, who said, "Sure, if you sign up too." Norman didn't especially want to play, but he did, as a favor to his friend. Joe never thanked him. Joe never came by his locker. Joe never called him in his room.
Now, as Norman leaves the Orlando hotel on his way to a quiet dinner, he asks the other players why they're all dressed up. "Joe's party," they say. "Aren't you coming?"
Greg Norman is on his way to the press room at the Augusta National Golf Club after just missing last year's Masters title. The culprit this time was a simple 106-yard sand wedge that landed 70 feet from the pin and set up a three-putt bogey that ended his chances of catching Ben Crenshaw and winning the championship he wants most. "Mud on the ball," guesses one golf writer.
"Nah," says another. "Slick grip."
"Five bucks says it's the wind changed," says a third.