Mr Greg Norman AO AM
Clinical computer rankings tell us GREG NORMAN was, for almost seven years, the No. 1 golfer in the world. But Norman’s career, while defined by cold, sometimes cruel numbers, was so much more than that.
This week at Coolum, Norman at 56 will line up in a star-studded Australian PGA field beside the likes of Jason Day and Geoff Ogilvy and might just outdraw the lot of them such is his enduring charisma.
The Great White Shark remains one of the greatest crowd magnets the game has seen. Just walking down the fairway he stands out and he has long been recognised as one of Queensland’s greatest sporting legends.
Born in Mt Isa and educated at Townsville Grammar and Aspley State High School, his professional career started as a trainee to Charlie Earp in the Royal Queensland Gold Club pro shop, earning $38 a week.
He won 88 tournaments as a professional with his most famous successes being spectacular British Open wins at Turnberry in 1996 and Royal St Georges in 1993 when golfing great Gene Sarazen said of Norman’s sublime last round 64: “I never thought I would live to see golf played like this.”
His career was also known for the majors he could have won with a slice of luck or a fraction of better judgment. Norman finished second in the US Masters three times, second in the US Open twice, as well as two runner up finishes in the US PGA and a lost play-off in the British Open in 1989.
In 1987, Norman founded a junior golf foundation which for 24 years has provided professional instruction throughout Queensland to school students, junior golf club members and children with specific physical disabilities.