"Yeah, and a 62 at Bay Hill, too."
Other than those, hardly anything worth mentioning.
The '86 Norman Conquests have been shimmering. Yet, for all the Fridays and Saturdays he has led, it is only the Sundays we remember. Sundays, bloody Sundays: a bogey on the final hole at Augusta to lose by one; a 75 at Shinnecock Hills to lose the U.S. Open by a mile.
"Everybody knows how much I wanted to win a major," Norman said after the final round. "You guys know. The media is always writing, 'Why can't he win here? Why not there?' and everybody's saying, 'Come on, Greggy, you can do it,' and even if you know you can, it starts to get you down. You get a monkey on your back."
You could almost see the beast dancing a Scottish jig on his shoulder blades as he ate dinner at the Turnberry Hotel on Saturday night. Though chatting pleasantly, Norman had the aura of a man who was to be hanged in the morning. People would look at him and then, when they had caught his eye, glance away. At the Masters and the U.S. Open, Norman had dined as the leader or near leader on Saturday night only to have something stick in his throat on Sunday.
As Norman was finishing his meal on this night, he looked up and saw Jack Nicklaus standing over him. "Can I talk to you?" Nicklaus asked. He sat down with Norman and told him, "Nobody wants you to win this tournament more than I do. You deserve to win."
Norman was duly honored, but, call it what you like, it was still just one more person not to let down. Norman got more of the same when he called his Orlando, Fla., home to talk to his three-year-old daughter, Morgan-Leigh. "Good luck, Shark," she said. Not Dad. Shark. And there was this from Laura: "I love you, honey, win or lose. But it would be nice if you won."
All well meaning and all that rot, but none of them was willing to take over for him on a four-footer.
Little wonder, then, that he couldn't finish his breakfast the next morning. "I was nervous as hell.... I kept saying to myself, All right, let's not do another Shinnecock here. [He had come out for that round flat, he said.] Let's stay a little nervous this time. I'd rather be nervous, keep myself up, than be too relaxed."
Pete Bender, his caddie, counseled him before they started the final round, "We're just going to win a golf tournament today. We've won plenty of tournaments. What's the difference between those tournaments and this one? They're all just tournaments."