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Star Attraction
JOHN GARRITY
April 13, 2009
At 54, Chris Evert and Greg Norman make each other feel like high school sweethearts, but can wedded bliss rejuvenate him enough to conquer Augusta National, the course that has haunted him?
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April 13, 2009

Star Attraction

At 54, Chris Evert and Greg Norman make each other feel like high school sweethearts, but can wedded bliss rejuvenate him enough to conquer Augusta National, the course that has haunted him?

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Telling the story, Evert rolls her eyes.

Upstairs, in the club's cigar room, Norman spends a few minutes with an architect looking over condo drawings spread out on the pool table. He then grabs a plate of finger sandwiches and sits next to Evert on a love seat. The room is divided by gender, the well-coiffed damas clustered around the tennis star, the prosperous caballeros leaning in to audit the Shark.

Norman announces to one of the men, "If I got another boat, it would be a 65- or 70-footer. You can go anywhere in the world."

Evert says to one of the women, "Nobody's ever done this in tennis before, and it was Greg's idea. He said, 'Why don't tennis players do developments?'"

A woman asks, "Do either of you have grandchildren?"

Evert, taken aback, starts to laugh. "That's the first time I've ever been asked that question!" She turns to Norman, who returns her smile.

DO THE Shark and Chrissie have the right to be happy? When banks are failing? When workers are losing their jobs? When hospitality tents are doling out Doritos and soft drinks instead of lobster and Chardonnay? Should fiftysomething lovers be allowed to glow?

Strict moralists will look at the circumstances of their initial attraction—the messy entanglement of a wealthy sportsman with the wife of a good friend, Andy Mill; the Madison County--style longings of a hausfrau with three school-age children—and deliver a swift verdict of no. To bolster their case, the scolds need only point to the postseparation remarks of Laura Andrassy, who told an Australian newspaper that Evert had been "aggressive" in pursuit of her husband of 25 years ("In front of me, like I didn't exist") and that Norman's quest for superstardom in both golf and business had left her feeling "like a single mom."

On the other hand, don't we believe in Love Conquers All? Listen to Norman: "She makes me feel alive again." Listen to Evert: "We're better people together." Listen to Diderot: Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.

Or simply lean back in your recliner and click the remote. On March 1 Norman and Evert appeared on Australia's 60 Minutes to deny that they had nuked two healthy marriages to be together. "[Laura and I] were seeing a marriage counselor for years and years and years," Norman told reporter Eddie McGuire. "It's a two-way street. It's never just a one-way street." As for the pair's 30-year acquaintanceship, Evert acknowledged the occasional flirtation—"There was always a little spark"—but insisted it went nowhere. "There wasn't any physical relationship between us," said Norman. "I mean, I can put my hand on my heart and swear that over my mum and dad's life and my kids' life." Evert, meanwhile, told McGuire that Andrassy's accusations came "from a place of pain," adding that, "You can't control full-blown falling in love. You can't control it." Later, Evert added, "I think everybody has moved on except for one person."

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