A Shark In The Water?

July 18, 2008 – 7:18 pm by Hickey

On a weekend where everyone will be talking about The Joker, perhaps it is fitting that the biggest story in the sporting world will come from The Choker.

Greg Norman, the now-gray Shark, is standing on the precipice of one of the most unlikely major victories in golf history at halftime of the British Open. The 53-year-old Norman, who is best-known for frittering away final-round leads in majors when he was No. 1 in the world (likely retribution from the golf gods for introducing the world to his horrendous pastel-color inspired fashion line in the mid-90s) is one stroke separated from becoming the oldest champion in major history (even older than Old Tom Morris. And he had Old in his first name).

Just a month ago, Norman was getting married to Chris Evert, and we can assume that he’s spent more time dedicated to knockin’ boots than his golf game in recent weeks. So the fact that a guy who hasn’t won a tournament in 10 years is shooting even-par on a course that is tearing the field apart is an impressive feat, no matter where he finishes.

No less surprising than Norman’s rise from the grave is that of David Duval, who at 2-over is just three strokes off the lead. Duval, who was also once No. 1 in the world, fell off the face of the earth shortly after winning the British Open in 2001 and being dubbed Tiger’s greatest rival. After going straight into the tank, he even flat-out quit golf for a couple of years. Now, he seemingly plays even less frequently than I do. Yet here he is, with a chance to win going into the weekend.

Other fun facts:

– John Daly didn’t just miss the cut, he missed it spectacularly. His 89 on Friday clinched an impressive 29-over par showing for the tournament. No matter how hilariously bad Daly did, at least you have to give him credit for having the balls to finish what he started — unlike Rich Beem and Sandy Lyle, who quite halfway through the first round to avoid posting a huge number on their scorecards.

– Our boy, Indiana University’s very own Jeff Overton, enters Saturday tied for 38th with Phil Mickelson at 7-over. Phil, however, still has a better rack.

– Winds on Saturday are expected to be in excess of 40 MPH, so this thing is wide open. Pretty much everyone left in the field is still in contention. Well, everyone except for you, Monty.

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