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


July 23, 2009

Greg Norman


Q. Did it bring back any memories watching?
GREG NORMAN: No, it didn't bring back memories. I wasn't thinking about what I did. I was hoping he would win. It was just one of those situations where you would like to see somebody do that, and I think it will happen. I think next year at St. Andrews, there's a very good chance of that happening.

Q. Is that a big positive for the game of golf, the guys in their 50s, and in Tom's case, almost 60, can compete for one of the game's greatest prizes? Can you put into words why it is?
GREG NORMAN: Well, it goes to show you know matter where you are in the game of golf, you still have the ability and the longevity. I don't think there's another sport that you can play, maybe lawn balls, that's about it, that you can go out there and compete at the highest of levels with the very best of every young player.
It just is a testament to our game. It's a testament to the players who have the ability, No. 1, to translate that into experience and translate that into passion. You know, that type of passion is few and far between when you really boil it down. There's probably only ten or 15 guys that are really that passionate who really believe in themselves all the way through their whole career that they can do it no matter what. Tom was just the epitome of that last week.

Q. In terms of you are one of the first athletes really into fitness and everything, and look at Tiger is now the current thing, not saying Tom doesn't train --
GREG NORMAN: He does. He does. You just watch his flex I built.

Q. He swings the same.
GREG NORMAN: You don't get that flexibility by sitting on the couch, I can tell you that. I bet you he quietly does his job, and he knows it. We didn't talk about it, but he's turning 60 in a couple of weeks, I bet you he keeps playing into his 60s. It's interesting how we all try and evolve through our games. It might take us in the latter part of our career to really feel comfortable with our games, as crazy as that sound. You see a Tiger Woods playing terrible not swinging well and you see a Padraig Harrington changing his swing. We've all done it. Even Tom and I have done it.
But until you get to that satisfactory zone, that, okay, I'm comfortable with my game now, whatever it is, I'm going to work it out, instead of trying to tinker with it to get it better, just work on it and work on it. I think to all of the young kids, it should be wake up guys. The game of golf is a 45-year time span. It's not a five-year snapshot and if you don't make it by the time you're 25, you're done. Be patient and look into the future.

Q. Would you have said this five or ten years ago when you started to step away from the game?
GREG NORMAN: I believe as I was getting into my late 40s, as long as you keep yourself in physically go shape, you have every chance of winning. I believe somebody in their 50s will win a major. I think that's going to happen. It won't happen on a Bethpage Black like I said in the press room, but it will happen at a St. Andrews; it will happen at a Royal St. George's, Lytham. Those type of golf courses, it will happen. Even the U.S. Open next year at Inverness or whenever it's coming up, it can happen on that type of golf course, because it's not a brutal 7,500 yards. It's a tough 7,300 yards. We can all hit it out there 290, 300 no matter what. So a 7,300-yard golf course is not that long.

Q. 48 was the oldest anyone has ever won a major, and now we see yourself and Tom get so close, is it technology and is it your fitness and things like that?
GREG NORMAN: It's a combination of three things, I believe. It's a combination of technology, obviously. Technology is allowing us to hit the ball further, as far as what we did back in our heyday. Turnberry didn't play any different than what Tom played in '77 and I played in '86. We hit the same clubs all over the place and yet it's 300 yards longer. Players are fitter, right. And then you throw in experience on top of those two things.
So a guy with experience with his ability with technique and equipment, he knows he's going to have a big leg up on some of these young kids. And the other great equaliser next year, a great asset for the older players is the V-groove technology, the changes in the new grooves. That's a great thing for us, because we know what it's like.
You've played around this golf course with regular V-groove clubs even today, like my shot in the last hole, just in that real fine wispy stuff, it seemed to jump. I could just hit a hard sand wedge and it will go anywhere. Things are going to change.

Q. Who else over 50 would you give a chance of winning a major?
GREG NORMAN: All of the major champions who just turned 50, that period between 50 53, 54, 55, and obviously the guys who have won. And you can see that at Turnberry, Tom's experience at Turnberry. I guarantee you he was going off shots and positions he did in '77, I guarantee you. Did I the same at Royal Birkdale under tough conditions, you have to go on what's in your memory bank.

Q. I suppose the toughest thing for the guys to keep is the passion and enthusiasm.
GREG NORMAN: Well, that counts because the top players have always committed to their commitment. You see we have responsibilities to do what we have to do because we are in the top of the game. There's a lot, and you have to do it with passion and if you don't, you're going to fall off the table real quick. Whether you play more tournaments a year or you play 15 tournaments a year or 30, you want to get out there and do the best you can every time you play.
It's a great feeling. If I had an empty tank, I wouldn't be out here. But I love it. I love watching guys do that. I'm already thinking about next year. Get yourself all mapped out for the next 52 weeks.

Q. The changes in the clubface and those rules, those can really help?
GREG NORMAN: Well, we just talked about it. It will be a big advantage to the more experienced players for sure because the younger players have never seen it. But we have had 35, 40 years of experience of seeing the equipment change over that time period. These kids are coming out with 460 drivers, square grooves, and a ball that doesn't turn. They don't know anything different. They haven't gone and hit a Persimmon driver or balata ball and know how hard you have to hit it to get the ball going. Now it's the opposite. You don't have to hit the ball to get it to go. There's no spin. It's just a big difference.

Q. Were you completely deflated like the rest of us?
GREG NORMAN: I was gut-wrenched. I sent him a text I was just gut-wrenched. I think that's kind of a testament to the sport and we all pull for each other and we all want somebody -- I knew if he had done it, it would just give the game of golf a huge shot in the arm on a global basis, and we all wanted that. You know, we are all sitting in a stagnant sport right now and sometimes you need a bit of a levitation like that and things just pop out.

Q. The shot in the arm has not lessened because he missed that putt?
GREG NORMAN: No, it has not lessened. He has not gone back to the States. When I went back to the States, it was like a whole new wave of euphoria when you got back there, people saying, one for the old boys wherever you went. It was 51 weeks until I went back to Turnberry, and now it's all onto him. (Laughter).

Q. Norman, Watson, Lyle, this must have felt like the good old days.
GREG NORMAN: It was, actually. We both played -- all three of us played solid, actually, which was nice. A round a golf course like this, you knew if you played well, you could really shoot a low score. I think all three of us have walked off here, I think we left three shots on the golf course easily.

Q. Were you nicely surprised today how things went?
GREG NORMAN: No, I made a minor adjustment to my swing last week at Turnberry. I wasn't feeling that great in my lower back, so I couldn't really turn into it. Had some great therapy work, so I'm slowly getting my body back into the position where I can swing the golf club and that's now showing through. I have a lot more confidence hitting through the ball now and I can go out a little bit more. So I'm allowing myself to play aggressive golf again. I didn't have that last week.

Q. When you are playing in a championship, you have your golf to think about, so you have all of the stuff, business, how do you manage to pack it all into one day?
GREG NORMAN: Well, I have good people back home now, I have had a business and operation now for 20 years, so I have great people I can hand the reigns off to. When I teed off, it was 4.30 in the morning, so I hope the office is not calling me at 4.30 in the morning. I'll get my e-mails in the afternoon, but I don't have a whole lot of burden of worry about what's going on in the business world.

Q. It was an interesting group you had to today, because after what you did in The Open last year, and, of course, what Tom Watson did last week, did it come up as a subject?
GREG NORMAN: No. It does in spirit when he walked on to the first tee. I had called him and text him on Sunday through to Monday, and I had not had a chance to shake his hand.
So he knows the sentiment and he knows the support of all the players, and it's just the same feeling last year and people really feel good about when something like that happens.
And I was gut-wrenched, I really was. I want to see somebody in his 50s win a major championship, because obviously it can happen. It's just a matter of getting it to happen. And Tom being so close, I think 99.9 percent of the world was pulling for him.
No slight on Stewart Cink, he did a phenomenal job playing, but you can feel the sentiments and emotions were really on Tom's side. It was great for the game and it would have been even better if he had won.

Q. Tom said it took him just one day to get over that and he said he's a person that he does not live in the past. How long did it take you to get over last year?
GREG NORMAN: You know what, I believe him because I'm the same way. What's done is done. You can't do anything about it. You get people coming up to you to reignite it in your mind a little bit, but if you're strong, you say, hey, I'm here today and that was yesterday or I'm here, Tuesday, whatever it is. He's a consummate professional and professionals have that ability.
Like when we make a 3-putt, we don't go to the next hole and worry about making a 3-putt, we make a one putt. You have to move on with life. He's going to get a lot more when he goes back to the States. He's got it here because he's here right now. When he goes back to America and gets his fellow countrymen pulling for him at the Senior U.S. Open, he's going to get a fresh wave of enthusiasm and support. He's going to lap it up for a while eventually.

Q. There was a tremendous wave of emotion for all three of you today, must be nice for you to be back at Sunningdale.
GREG NORMAN: It is. I love this place. I've always loved Sunningdale, Wentworth area, this whole atmosphere in this part of the world is beautiful. I had a place and used to practise here. A lot of old memories are becoming very fresh.
And the golf course has not changed much. You still know it can bite you very quickly, and you have to respect it. And they are really tough greens to read because there's a lot of grain and a lot of slope. A lot of local knowledge is necessary around here.

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