The Shark was dead in the water last Friday. Already 0 for 5 in his own tournament, the Greg Norman International, he was seven strokes off the lead through 36 holes and gnashing his teeth over a scandal that had reached out 15,000 miles to ruin his week. "I should be able to just go out and play," he said, "but I don't care how strong your mind is, it's there."
It was Sexgate, the scandal that threatens to harpoon the presidency of Shark chum Bill Clinton. Last week special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who is investigating Clinton's relations with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, ordered a Florida TV station to "produce the videotape or tapes depicting President William Jefferson Clinton with Miss Monica Lewinsky on a trip to Florida during which he visited with golfer Greg Norman." There were rumors that Lewinsky was with Clinton in Norman's Hobe Sound guest-house last March on the fateful night when Clinton tripped on the doorstep and blew out his knee. Norman hotly denied the rumors, then erupted at Aussie reporters who quizzed him about his friendship with the President.
"Let the thing go, guys," he said. "What he does in his private life is his business. I think he should just go on and run the country." Norman admitted that the commotion was getting to him, leaving him in a fuzzy-minded funk, not to mention seven shots behind leader Jos� Mar�a Olaz�bal.
So what does he do next? Only fire a course-record 64 on Saturday to get close, then reel in me Spaniard with a 67 on Sunday to claim his own $127,000 first prize.
"I would put this win very high on my list," Norman told his media persecutors after beating Olaz�bal by two strokes and Stuart Appleby, John Cook and Steve Elkington by four. "Under the circumstances my round yesterday was as good as I have played in 10 to 15 years. I had to come back mentally because I'd been mentally out of it. Today, when I hit the lead outright for the first time on the back nine, I thought it was going to be my show."
Back in Florida, things were also looking up for Greg's friend Bill. The elusive videotapes showed Norman and Clinton together, but no sign of Ms. Lewinsky. Prosecutor Starr and Olaz�bal had both finished second.
West Coast Wipeout
As golfers ran for shelter from the storms of '98, surfers on the West Coast charged some of the biggest waves ever—and wondered why anybody would try to play golf in such weather.
"Are they crazy? This is the rainiest time of year," said Sean Collins on the eve of the Buick Invitational. "In fact it's the only rainy time on the West Coast."
Collins, 45, is the surf world's No. 1 weather dude. He runs Surfline/Wavetrak, a Huntington Beach, Calif., firm that provides forecasts for surfing events and wave carvers worldwide. Collins even plays travel agent for daredevils like Laird Hamilton and Brock Little, the Tiger and Shark of the wet set. He predicts where and when storm-driven surf will reach land; then the big-wave riders hop on planes and outrace the waves to their destination.