Australian Golfer Bio: Greg Norman


Name: Gregory John Norman
DOB: Feb 10th 1955
From: Mt. Isa Queensland Australia
Height: 6ft 0in
Turned Pro: 1976
Currently: Living in Hope Sound, Florida USA
Nickname: 'The Great White Shark'

Greg played Rugby, Aussie Rules and Cricket as a child in Queensland and was regarded as an outstanding player, Greg was also a keen surfer. He began playing golf at 15 and within his first year was playing to a scratch handicap. His mother was also a fine golfer with a single-figure handicap. The story goes, His interest in the game started with an unusual offer to his mother that he caddy for her during a regular mid-week game. Following the round, he asked if he could borrow her clubs and set out on his own. The rest is history. Norman’s professional golf career began as Charlie Earp's trainee in the Royal Queensland Golf Club pro shop, earning an amazing $A28/week. Interestingly, Norman has earned more than $1 million five times on the U.S. PGA Tour, including three Arnold Palmer Awards as the Tour's leading money winner in 1986, '89 and '94. He was also the first person in Tour history to surpass $10 million in career earnings.

His first professional win, also his first year as a professional golfer, was the 1976 West Lakes Classic at The Grange in Adelaide, South Australia. He joined the European Tour in 1977. In 1982 he was that tour's leading money winner. The following year, he joined the U.S. PGA Tour. His crowning achievements are his British Open Championships in 1986 at Turnberry in Scotland and '93 at Royal St. George's in Kent. In '86 Norman shot a tournament record tying 63 to seal a five-shot victory over Gordon Brand and in '93 Norman trailed by one stroke entering the final day and closed with 64 to defeat Nick Faldo by two.

Greg Norman was one of the most accomplished golfers of the 1980s and '90s, a golfer with great achievements but Norman also gained a reputation for falling short of expectations.

Norman first came to worldwide prominence when he narrowly missed catching Jack Nicklaus at the 1986 Masters. He pushed his approach shot to the 72nd green into the stands, the first of what would be numerous narrow defeats, unlucky breaks and unfortunate collapses. Bob Tway holed a bunker shot at the 1986 PGA to snatch the win away from Norman; Larry Mize holed a long chip shot in a playoff at the 1987 Masters to deny Norman again. Perhaps most famously, Norman blew a 6-shot lead entering the final round to lose the 1996 Masters to Nick Faldo by 5 strokes. Along with his 2 British Open titles, Norman has won tournaments, including 20 U.S. PGA Tour titles and has collected many accolades including:

* 5-time Byron Nelson Award winner for the lowest adjusted scoring average (1988, '90, '93, '94 and '95)
* Awarded by the PGA Tour; 3-time Vardon Trophy winner for the lowest adjusted scoring average (1989, '90, '94)
* Awarded by the PGA of America; 3-time Arnold Palmer Award winner (1986, '90, '95)
* In 1995, Norman won the Jack Nicklaus Award, for PGA Tour Player of the Year.
* 4-time member, International team, Presidents Cup
* Member, World Golf Hall of Fame

In 2008, at the age of 53, Norman made an unlikely run at a third British Open title, holding the third round lead before finishing tied for third.

It was in 1981 that Norman was originally labeled the "Great White Shark" by a newspaper reporter during the Masters Tournament. Since then he has created a multinational corporation, Great White Shark Enterprises, where Norman serves as Chairman and CEO. The business comprises several companies and divisions including Contact Golf Course Design, Contact Turf Company, Medalist Golf Developments, Contact Interactive, Contact Production Company, merchandising and licensing. Norman's wealth is estimated in the hundreds of millions of U.S dollars.

Norman's first wife, Laura Andrassy an American Flight Attendant; were married July 1, 1981, and have two children, Morgan-Leigh and Gregory. In June of 2008 Norman and former tennis ace and world number 1, American Chris Evert were married in the Bahamas.
Norman's passions off the golf course are still the same as they were when he was a boy in Australia - fishing, hunting, scuba diving and almost any other outdoor activity.

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