home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 23, 2009

Greg Norman


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome Greg Norman into the Media Center here. Greg, first time here at the 32nd Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. You're no stranger to this area, played on Tour at Hilton Head and done a few golf courses in the area as well. Maybe some thoughts initially about playing in the oldest Champions Tour event, Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, and you're going to play with Keith Fergus this week.
GREG NORMAN: First of all, I wasn't expecting to play. I made a few phone calls around to some of my friends, but I didn't realize the popularity of this event.
Obviously this being the longest title sponsor of the Senior PGA Champions Tour has been a very impressive thing for Liberty Mutual, and obviously they see the value that golf brings for them, from their hospitality.
But for me to be here, like I said, I never expected to be here. All the players I called hoping to play a couple months ago, they were all booked up, and they were pretty much all booked up for years in advance, which is a great sign of the popularity of this event.
And it just happened that Keith Fergus called me when I was playing in Houston. His partner, Wayne Levi had some health issues, and we all wish him the very best.
He asked me if I'd be his partner, and I had one or two other things I had scheduled for this week, and it was easy for me to change them, and I was happy to accept his invitation to be his partner.
I'm looking forward to it. Like I said, I was hoping to play in the event, and now I'm looking forward to it. I've got a great partner. He's a winner out here.
Keith and I go back a long way. We did a lot of PR stuff for the PGA TOUR back in '86 or '87, somewhere back then when we were doing our shower scenes trying to project the image of the PGA TOUR in a different light, I would say. I don't think that would happen nowadays, but anyway.
So Keith and Payne Stewart, and I'm trying to remember the other guys who were out there. But we did some wonderful things together, a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to playing with him.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay. Maybe some thoughts about your game coming in.
GREG NORMAN: Well, my game is pretty solid, actually. I've been working on it. I was very, very disappointed at the Masters, which was a good sign for me. I went in there feeling very good about my game. I actually played very well the first three days, and for it to end up the way it ended up, I left the golf course as disappointed as I've ever left Augusta.
And I put a lot of effort into it. I still am, still practicing, still getting ready for tournaments I have on my horizon, and I'm looking forward to playing. I really am.
It would be consistent to say over the last couple months has been a joy for me to get back there and wanting to play golf again. I've had a great inspiration and push from my wife, Chrissie. She's an athlete. She knows what it takes. She knows what it feels like to be a competitor back out there competing, and she's getting a lot of enjoyment out of seeing me getting ready.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay. We'll go to questions. If you could please just wait for the microphone.

Q. Last year after your amazing British Open performance, you talked about how being happier off the course translated to good golf on the course. Do you feel like you have a certain balance in your life now that's helping you play good golf and leading to good scores?
GREG NORMAN: Well, everything about life, if you've got a good balance about it, it's going to be good going forward. You've gotta put things in perspective and you have to get things ironed out.
Everybody is the same way. For me, I feel like I've got a great balance about it. I enjoy things away from the game of golf, actually love them. I enjoy doing things with my wife. She's very much, like I said before, a competitor and she's an athlete, and we like to work out.
We do a lot of things together, which really makes me feel included, you know, where you can spend time with your spouse and do things together.
So even in this tough financial climate, we all have been hurt by it. There's no question about it. There's a lot of pain on everybody's faces, but how do you deal with it? And how you understand what the adversity is and how you react to that adversity. You can sit there and wallow away in self-pity or you can get out there and figure it out.
In my business I've had to go in there and figure it out. You have to stay ahead of the curve. You have to understand what the situation is, whether it's business, whether it's your love life, whether it's your golf life, whether it's just your private life.
And like I say, if you stay ahead of the curve, you're always going to be in balance, no matter how good or bad the situation is. And my situation is very good. I'm very, very comfortable with where I am in life, and we'll all come out of this situation, the economic times.
The good thing about this thing, if you look at the glass as half full, the bad times weed out the bad people, and when you come through it, all the good people are left standing and that gives you the strength and the ability to go forward. And it happens in sport and it happens in the financial world and it happens in your love life, and again, it's how you react.

Q. Just a quick follow-up. What letter grade would you give Chrissie as a caddie?
GREG NORMAN: As a caddie? She did a very good job for the first time that day. That's the first time I've had a hole-in-one in a long time, so it was pretty good.

Q. You sound a little under the weather.
GREG NORMAN: Yeah, I am, unfortunately.

Q. Are you going to be able to play through it, I guess?
GREG NORMAN: I've done it before. I'm sure I can do it again.

Q. I wanted to ask you a normal question, but you said something about a shower scene?
GREG NORMAN: I think if you guys go back, I don't know how far our archives on the PGA TOUR go back, but we did a promotional thing, I'm guessing '86, '87, somewhere around in there, and it was Keith Fergus, Payne Stewart, myself and might be one other. Anyway, I can picture him, but I can't grab his name.
But anyway, we did -- the PGA TOUR was trying to project their image in a different light, so they picked on a couple of the guys, who obviously we had personalities and people liked us on the golf course. And we did a photo session, you know, like in a locker room scene, how are the players in the locker room scene, interacting.
There was Keith Fergus. I think he was in a towel, and I was in the shower with the steam. You couldn't see any private parts, but it was just one of those, and it came across very well, actually. It was tastefully done, but it also showed the players to be normal people. We put our pants on the same way as everybody else and allowed to look behind the scenes what really happened.
And you know, Keith was a part of that.

Q. Was that for a certain magazine or just the PGA?
GREG NORMAN: No. It was PGA TOUR, wasn't it? If you go to PGATOUR.com, go on the archives, I'm sure you'll pull it up somewhere. You'll see the photographs.

Q. Can you talk about your history in Savannah including designing golf courses in the area and also if you've played around anywhere?
GREG NORMAN: One of my favorite tournaments ever on the PGA TOUR was Harbour Town. I love the golf course. I love the feel of the environment there.
It was always great to come right out of Augusta and go there because it was like going from an intense pressure cooker to a little bit more laid-back atmosphere, but a very intense golf course to play. So you took that mentality all the way on to the golf course.
And it was very relaxing. You walk to the first tee. You walk to the driving range. You walk back into your apartment, whatever way you want to do it. So the opportunities to build golf courses around here have been tremendous.
Savannah Quarters, I'm an owner in the development out there. Oldfield, we built a golf course out there. So I've had the opportunity to stick my stake in the ground in a lot of ways, not only from a playability standpoint, but also from a financial standpoint.
I always love the Savannah Growth Corridor. Any time you see where a Lowe's or Wal-Mart or Home Depot and Sam's Club, where they start building, that means they know where the growth corridor is. And when you get in the development business, you kind of follow where it's going to be five, seven years down the line. Sure, you're going to have hiccups in the real estate market, but if you stay the course, you know you're going to come out pretty good at the other end.
And we're still big strong believers in this area. Savannah Quarters will do very well for us from a development, and obviously there will be future golf courses built around here because it's a great community.

Q. The same type of question. You've seen the course here at the club at Savannah Harbor. How does it match up to those --
GREG NORMAN: I haven't seen the golf course, so you'll have to ask me that question after I play the Pro Am today, so I can't make a comment.

Q. Well, along those same lines, what type courses do you like to play on? Is it the ones you put your stamp on that we know the certain way -- where you've played so many around the world. I don't know how you know your game will stack up here in Savannah at this course as you've never played it before.
GREG NORMAN: Well, I'm sure once we play one round of golf, you're going to know what to expect. And we're professionals. We can make our game adapt to any golf course that's in front of us, whether you're playing Shinnecock or St. Andrews or Augusta National or whether you're playing here in Savannah at the Westin.
My game is there to accept any golf course that's under my feet, and I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Q. Lanny Wadkins was in here before you. He's going to be a Hall-of-Famer now. Can you say something about any battles you had or anything you remember of Lanny now that he's going to be a Hall-of-Famer?
GREG NORMAN: Well, Lanny was very much of a prolific tournament winner. He was a very tough guy to play against. He always wanted to beat you, like every top player wants to beat you. Any player who's won multiple events have got that ability to say I know I'm good as you. I'm going to beat you this week or if I'm not going to beat you this week, I'm going to beat you next week. Very tough player to play against.
Very underrated. A great iron player. I remember that. There wasn't a pin that could be stuck on any green in any location that Lanny couldn't think he could get at, and I think that's a great attribute to his confidence and his skills. So he's a deserved member of the Hall of Fame. It's not an easy task to get in there. It's a voting process. I'm part of the voting process. The members are part of it. So we welcome him aboard.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Greg, thank you for joining us and good luck this week.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297