Gregory John Norman.
Now there's a name that I did not expect to see on the leaderboard any time soon. Fresh off his marriage to former tennis star Chris Evert and his $100 million divorce settlement (Greg Norman was THAT rich??), I figured that Norman's appearance at this year's British Open was ceremonial at best. He's had a great career and apparently has made a fortune in golf course design and merchandise sales, so I figured his days as a competitive golfer were over.
And yet there he is one shot off the lead after one day (still too early to get excited of course), and the old "the shark is coming out of the water" and "the shark smells blood" jokes are coming back full circle. With Tiger out of this tournament and Norman lurking, it's 1996 all over again!! If the Shark wins this tournament, does Jeff Samardzija have to give back his nickname for a few years??
Anyway, I was never a huge Greg Norman fan growing up as a kid, but I'm officially pulling for him. If he somehow hangs around this weekend, the echoes of the 1986 Masters (where Norman famously came up short to another aging legend) will be heard loud and clear. Talk about a possible redemption after all those past meltdowns by The Shark. What if Norman actually stumbled into the 54 hold lead??? Could you imagine watching that final round knowing he was going to choke it away??
I love this leaderboard by the way. All kinds of big names within a few shots of the lead. AK23, Norman, Goosen, Rocco, Furyk, Weir, Sergio, Poulter.
It would be funny if we had two "pre-Tiger" stars take command of this tournament this weekend. If we have a final pairing of Norman and Colin Montgomerie on Sunday, I might break out my 1996 Jeff Blake jersey and my 1996 Barry Larkin jersey and start getting excited about Bob Dole's presidential campaign and an upcoming Chang-Edberg match. What ever happened to Stefan Edberg, anyway?