Blogs & Opinion

Rob Lee blogs on Australia's Greg Norman, Jason Day and Adam Scott

Rob Lee - Rob Lee Posted 15th October 2013 view comments

The European Tour is heading to Australia this week, the home of one of the most iconic golfers of all time.

Greg Norman was an unbelievable player - the fact he spent 331 weeks as world number one shows you how much of a top dog he was - and his combination of length and accuracy with the driver was unparalleled.

Norman conqueror: Australian won two Majors, but Rob says it should have been more

Norman conqueror: Australian won two Majors, but Rob says it should have been more

I remember going down to Huntingdale for the Australian Masters in 1986 and spending time watching Greg on the course and I couldn't believe how far and straight he was hitting the ball with a wooden club.

However, in another way, he was a real underachiever as for someone of his ability to win only two Majors - the 1986 and 1993 Open Championships - is quite ridiculous because he was different gravy and really should have won five or six.

Greg always had this x-factor and has been a real beacon for Australian sport.

Rob Lee
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A couple of Masters certainly got away - I remember him being pipped at Augusta by Nick Faldo most notably when he let a six-shot lead slip in 1996, while he and Seve Ballesteros were beaten there in a play-off by Larry Mize in 1987.

Bob Tway also holed a bunker shot to beat him at the USPGA in 1986, so while in some respects he was unlucky, he didn't play well enough on other occasions when it was crunch time and I'm sure he has a tinge of regret about the ones that got away.

It will be sobering for him that he won just a couple of Majors and Padraig Harrington - who is a very good player but not in Greg's class - has claimed three, but I don't feel sorry for Greg as he has not had a bad life with the boats, private jets and all the trimmings.


Greg always had this x-factor and has been a real beacon for Australian sport - something that was recognised when he ran with the Olympic Torch across the Sydney Harbour Bridge at the 2000 Games - and I think youngsters Down Under are still very cognisant of who he is.

He has, no doubt, influenced the Australian stars of today, including reigning Masters champion Adam Scott and the very talented Jason Day, who I am convinced will win a Major or many at some point in his career.

When you weigh up who might win a Major, you look at people with complete golf games and you don't get much more complete than Jason; he hits it long, is really good at chipping and putting and is brave, too.

Day has gone close at the Masters and US Open before, registering second-place finishes in both, but I don't think you can accuse him of throwing opportunities away or baulking under the pressure.

He played like a champion at Augusta in 2011 but came up against an on-fire Charl Schwartzel who birdied the last four holes to win the event, while he was just edged out by Justin Rose at Merion earlier this year.

Jason has done little wrong and at the age of 25 he has plenty of time to get it right.

Day can take encouragement from Scott who, after so many near misses, won his maiden Major in April and could quite easily have ended the year with three after going close at the Open Championship and USPGA.

Adam is going to have to deal with the upcoming ban on the anchored putter and find another method that serves him equally well, but I am certain that his Major count is going to keep on growing.

Scott has perhaps been a bit too easy-going in the past, but his bagman, Steve Williams, has been a great help in getting him across the line because he is not easy-going and has a 'drive on, drive on' mentality' that he has passed onto Adam.

I don't think Scott has as much of a killer instinct as Tiger Woods, but does he swing the club better than Tiger? 100 per cent. And is he a better striker than Tiger? I would have to say yes.


It is a big week at the Perth International for guys just in or out of the top 110 in the Race to Dubai standings who are trying to keep their playing privileges, such as Gaganjeet Bhullar, Richard Bland and Peter Lawrie.

But it is also huge for guys hoping to stay or break into the top 60 and book a place at the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeriah Golf Estates, and my mate Denis Pugh's man, Ross Fisher, is in that boat.

Ross is 65th in the pecking order at the minute and I am going to back him to win in Australia and cement his spot, but Dustin Johnson will also be hoping to put in a good showing.

Marcus Fraser and Paul Casey should do well, too, while over in America at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, it wouldn't surprise me if Brooks Koepka impresses, following his third place at the Open.

He was nearly magical last week and if he'd parred the last few holes he would have finished second on his own and pretty much got his PGA Tour card - but I think he will now do that by winning in Las Vegas.

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