Greg Norman, one of the most entertaining golfers in the sport’s history, isn’t known as “the great white shark” for nothing, and his big personality is just a part of that. So of course, it should come as no surprise that when asked how he thinks he would stack up in a hypothetical “dream match” against some of the legends of golf, he’s ready to answer.
Earlier this week, Norman told Golf.com that he thinks he’d not only do well, but that he’d actually come out on top against Tiger Woods.
“A lot of people ask how I’d stack up against today’s players if I had use of modern equipment. Listen, it’s not about the gear,” Norman said in the interview. “Winning is about what’s in your heart and in your head. Equipment dictates how to play the game in an era, but the physical and mental skills are the same. And I had them.”
“I never feared anything or anyone on the course, and I wasn’t afraid to fail. So I think I’d do pretty well against [Sam] Snead, [Ben] Hogan, Tiger and Phil [Mickelson] — whoever. Tiger’s a tough guy, but I was a tough guy on the course, too. I probably would have beat him.”
Norman’s 20 victories on the PGA Tour may not hold up to Woods’s record, but I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to think that the Shark would have at least held his own in a “prime vs. prime” type of match. Norman is not only one of the greatest drivers of the ball in history, but one of the most intense competitors in the sport’s history. He not only won the Open Championship twice, but he has nine top-two finishes at majors, including two each at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, and three at the Masters. Had injuries not slowed him down, the true career Grand Slam wouldn’t have been out of reach.
In fact, in the 1999 season, Norman actually bested a young Woods at the Masters and the Open. Granted, this is just an example, but even at the end of the Shark’s career, he’s had major game. Come to think of it, had you put these two alpha competitors on a course together, the only thing that might have stopped them would be darkness – and maybe not even that.