Greg Norman: ‘Tiger Woods Won’t Break Jack Nicklaus’ Record’
John Feinstein has always felt that legendary golfer Greg Norman sees things in the game that other people simply don’t.
Given that, Feinstein wants to know what Norman saw at the Masters that the rest of us might have missed.
“Well, I think two things,” Norman said on The John Feinstein Show. “With Adam Scott, I noticed the day he shot that 4-over 76, I noticed his whole rhythm on the range was a little bit quicker. It seemed like he was rushed. You could actually see there was something not right. It seemed like he was running out of time. So I noticed that and I said, ‘I’m going to sit back and watch with interest whether this has disrupted his routine and rhythm of getting to the first tee.’ Every player has a certain routine we like to go through and a pace we like to walk in. And yeah, what happened was he obviously was disrupted and his flow wasn’t right, and he didn’t play that well.
“And the second thing on Sunday,” Norman continued, “I was really overly concerned about the amount of hype starting Saturday night (and going into) Sunday morning that was given to Jordan (Spieth). Everybody was trying to anoint him before anything else, and I know he’s probably not sitting back there watching it, but at the end of the day, you can get a sense of how the rest of the world is preparing to watch what you do that day. It just seemed like too much, to tell you the truth.
“As a player, you try to get rid of all that white noise (as best as) you possibly can. Everybody does it differently, and some players embrace it. But being out there two-and-a-half, three hours before your tee time on Sunday cannot be good for you.”
Although he did not win, Spieth, 20, managed a runner-up finish to Bubba Watson, who took home his second green jacket in three years.
“He did a great job, I thought,” Norman said of Spieth. “He’s going to be a superstar of the future, no question about it. Give the guy a little bit more runway to get there and go with it.”
Norman also discussed Tiger Woods, who is recovering from back surgery and did not participate in the Masters for the first time since 1994. Golf analyst Brandel Chamblee said that Woods took the perfect golf body – his own – and ruined it by working out too much, which is why he had back problems.
Is there something to this? Norman says yes.
“You just take a look at any athlete,” Norman said. “When you start bulking up, your joints are your joints. They gave you what it is. If you start adding extra bulk to that, all of a sudden those joints that Mother Nature gave you that was never preparing for this additional (muscle) are going to be stressed out, especially with golf where you’re doing this repetitive motion. So there is a distinct possibility that could take place.”
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But what of Woods’ future? He’s 38 with a bad back and bad knees. He’ll never be what he was, but can he still be a major champion?
“I think he can be a major champion again, but I don’t think he’ll break Jack’s record,” Norman said. “I definitely think he’ll step up to the plate and win another major somewhere down the line, but the big underlying question is, how bad is his back surgery? To what degree was it? To what extent was it? How quickly can he get back to rehabbing?
“If he’s (already) back at it physically rehabbing, that’s great news. Thats good news for golf because it sounds like he might be back for the U.S. Open (in June).”