Did the golf gods smite Greg Norman for, once again, boosting Rory McIlroy at the expense of Tiger Woods? Geoff Shackleford believes there may be something to that — what with the Shark claiming that Woods “can’t keep up with Rory” and then pulling out of the Australian PGA with digestive distress.
On Tuesday, Norman observed that McIlroy left Woods in his dust, and the next day he joined a cacophonous chorus of McIlroy partisans opining that the 23-year-old Northern Irishman would beat Woods to 19 major championships. Then on Thursday, Norman blamed food poisoning for his first-round withdrawal from the Aussie event.
“He is quite ill, we understand,” PGA of Australia chief executive Brian Thorburn said in a statement after Norman bogeyed his first and second holes at Palmer Coolum resort and then quit, according to the Associated Press. “He is getting medical attention. I have spoken to his manager and I have spoken to the guys who saw him this morning. I think Greg was trying to soldier through and clearly it wasn’t possible.”
What’s up with Norman, whose rapid-fire insults this week were just the most recent in a series of volleys he’s discharged at Woods in the past three months?
In September, Norman made a fool of himself when he charged that McIlroy intimidated the 14-time major winner. He tried to weasel out of that comment with a weird, rambling explanation on Facebook that clarified absolutely nothing other than that the 57-year-old Australian may want to practice abstinence when it comes to slamming Tiger.
This week, Norman further embarrassed himself by saying that McIlroy would break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major titles — thanks to the workout ethic of his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.
“He has got what seems to be a great partner in life,” the Herald Sun quoted Norman, who was married to tennis legend, Chris Evert, for a nanosecond a few years back. “She [Wozniacki] loves to work out with him and she pushes him and pushes him and gets him physically in condition.
“He would have always been a great player,” Norman continued, “she has just changed his fitness, which has allowed him to be a better player physically on the golf course.”
Anyone wanna touch that with the proverbial 10-foot anchored flat stick? We’ll let Shackleford have the last word.
“Maybe not a Sicillian message,” he wrote Wednesday about Norman’s bout with a bellyache, “but I do believe the Golf Gods have ways of sending gentle reminders to shut up!”