This Day In Sports: ‘The Shark’ shakes down Royal St. George’s

July 18, 1993, 30 years ago today: Greg Norman wins only the second major of his career, and it would be the final one, as he captures the Open Championship (British Open) at Royal St. George’s.Ironically, it was on this day in 1986 that Norman had won his other major, taking the British Open at Turnberry. Despite his penchant for fading in the final rounds of majors during his career, including some classic meltdowns, Norman finished as the world’s No. 1 player in seven different seasons and spent 331 weeks on top of the rankings in the 1980s and 1990s.

Those meltdowns in Grand Slam tournaments are part of the Greg Norman legacy. In 1986, he led all four majors going into the final round but won only the British. There were plenty of close calls, but there were also legendary collapses. Norman was done in by a 10th hole double-bogey at the 1986 Masters, and he carded final-round scores of 76 and 75 in the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, respectively. The biggest meltdown came in the 1996 Masters, where he opened with a 63. Norman led by a whopping six strokes entering the final round but ballooned to a 78 on Sunday and finished five shots behind Nick Faldo.

Norman has always seemed to find himself in the news over the years. He married tennis star Chris Evert in 2008, but that lasted only 15 months, ending in divorce. Norman was supposed to be the lead analyst next to Joe Buck on Fox Sports golf coverage, but that didn’t make it past a wave of criticism during the 2015 U.S. Open. His business ventures have been highly successful, though, ranging from clothing to eyewear to golf carts to beef products to restaurants to real estate to golf course design.

Norman’s nickname is “The Shark.” He earned the moniker with his aggressive style at his first Masters in 1981. Now it could apply to his role as CEO of LIV Golf and its controversial funding from Saudi Arabia’s “sovereign wealth fund,” an effort thought by many to be “sportswashing.” It’s even more contentious in the golf world currently as LIV tries to merge with the PGA Tour, a move that blindsided players on the traditional tour six weeks ago.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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