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Barry McDermott
August 25, 1986
Greg Norman, golf's Great White Shark, charged after a Grand Slam, and though he came away with just one major, it was a merry and wild chase indeed
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August 25, 1986

Stormin' Norman

Greg Norman, golf's Great White Shark, charged after a Grand Slam, and though he came away with just one major, it was a merry and wild chase indeed

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Maybe golf will be more fun now with Norman's continuing adventures and misadventures. In the short time he has had the British Open trophy, it has been used by mates in England and Florida for countless victory toasts. The trophy is something Norman wants to share. He is very caught up in it all. When he goes home to Australia, often he will stay up into the night, flipping through the 23 scrapbooks his mother has filled with notices of the local hero.

His parents watched him win the British Open on TV back in Australia. It was 4 a.m. Later that day, Toini went off to play in her club championship, which she won, much to the delight of her son, who gleefully regaled everyone with stories about his dear old champion mum.

More than anything, Norman seems to be a man getting a great kick out of his life now—win or lose. Last week, he was in Colorado to play in the International, a tournament with a novel format that allowed players to miss the cut on the very first day—which he did. Did he care? Not a drop, mate. By Friday he was back in Bay Hill, sitting in his office, looking out his picture window, past his pool, his barbecue past his boathouse and the lake. Two phones were ringing and there was a stack of mail, including a letter from H.R.H. The Prince Khedker of Khed Anjanvel.

Norman was grinning, exuberant, a happy shark at play, and he spoke with enthusiasm: "What a great feeling I had in Denver when it was over! I thought, Good God, this is the first time in so many weeks that I can really get drunk. I went into the locker room with Arnold and Jack Newton and we had beers and just sat. Tom Watson came in and had a couple. Oh, it was great. I felt so free."

He shrugged and his hands flew up near his ears in a gesture of freedom. "Then this morning, while I was having a cup of tea and giving Gregory his breakfast, I said to myself, Greg, you have two days off now, and then you've got to go back to work. I knew my bubble had burst, but I want to get back to the grindstone."

Norman's last U.S. event of the year will be this week's World Series of Golf, so unless he wins that tournament he probably won't reach his goal of leading the U.S. money list. After that he'll finish out his tumultuous year by competing overseas.

"People think I'll never come back, I'm done, I'm finished." Greg Norman has a smile on his face. "I'll tell you, I've never got so nervous that I've said 'Oh——. I can't do it.' I've never been in a position where I've lacked the confidence to convert something bad into something good. I've learned so much from all this!"

The telephone rang again. A writer from England wanted to come over to do a story. He offered condolences about the PGA. "Yeah, but what the hell," said Norman. "I'll get the Slam one year."

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