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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 252
T HERE are some records in sport you’d rather not hold. Or rather, some you’d surely like to amend. For Greg Norman, that came in the form of the ‘Saturday Slam’ in 1986, where he held the lead at all four majors heading into the final round. It was undoubtedly a remarkable accomplishment. But the Australian managed just one victory – The Open Championship – and developed a reputation for being unable to close out major tournaments. The fourth and final leg of The Shark’s 54-hole slam came during this corresponding week, 31 years ago, at the PGA Championship. Norman, who spent 331 weeks as the world’s No.1 player, held a four-stroke lead into Sunday but – as was so often the case in his career – fell victim to a miraculous bunker shot from Bob Tway, who holed out to clinch the tournament on the 72nd hole. Mind you, Norman’s final round 76 didn’t help his cause. The Shark’s 1986 season was incredible. He amassed 11 victories worldwide and finished top of the PGA Tour’s money list. The Saturday Slam began at the Masters, where he missed a par putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Jack Nicklaus. Next came the US Open at Shinnecock Hills. Norman shot a disappointing 75 to finish six strokes behind eventual winner, Raymond Floyd. Norman’ win at The Open Championship at Turnberry vindicated his position as the world’s best player and – at least temporarily – silenced his critics as he claimed his first major victory. Despite the near misses throughout the 1986 season, and indeed, his entire career, Norman remains adamant he achieved everything he ever wanted. But the 62-year-old has since admitted he would go about things differently if he had his time again. “If I had to do things again I’d probably bring in an inner core of people, like maybe a sports psychiatrist,” Norman said. E it happened this week in... 1986 • The painting The Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso is stolen from the National Gallery of Victoria. It is later found undamaged in a locker at Spencer Street Station. • American tennis player Chuck McKinley – winner of Wimbledon in 1963 – dies of a brain tumour aged 45. • Paula Creamer of the LPGA Tour is born in Mountain View, California. • Betsy King wins the LPGA Henredon Classic. Also making news this week in 1986 THE SHARK’S SATURDAY SLAM VIDEO: BOB TWAY STEALS THE PGA WORDS BY MICHAEL JONES
GA Express 251
GA Express 253