Norman shows no sign of cracking before the crackling

Norman shows no sign of cracking before the crackling, by Peter Stone - 3rd December 2004
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)

Greg Norman wasn't ecstatic with his four-under-par 68 in the opening round of the Australian PGA at Coolum yesterday, despite it being his second-lowest tournament round of the year, but he was glad at least to have shown he can be competitive on his annual trip home.

The real joy for the Shark came last night when he dined with his parents, Merv and Toini, at their nearby Pelican Waters home after putting in a request to his mother for roast pork in all its crackling glory, which he's never had in the US despite price being no object.

Norman's mother and sister, Janis, were part of a sizeable gallery assembled at the 10th tee at 7.20am yesterday to see the blond bomber hit off alongside the now top-ranked Australian Adam Scott and Kurt Barnes, the opening-round sensation in last week's Australian Open. Merv, whose legs aren't so good these days, was waiting on his stool at both the 18th and ninth greens.

Also in the throng was Norman's travelling companion on the Australian circuit in the mid-70s, Bryan Smith. He once persuaded Norman to invest in a racehorse called Star of Turnberry, which ran practically stone motherless at every start. When Norman collected birdies at the 11th and 12th holes, his second and third, Smith was filthy on himself for failing to charge his mobile phone the previous evening. He'd picked it up to take a slice of the 50-1 odds being offered on Norman and it wouldn't work. "I always have a bet on him, even in the majors," Smith said.


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