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PGA Tour Confidential: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson or Adam Scott for Player of Year?

Greg Norman
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Greg Norman at the 2011 Australian PGA. Norman suggested earlier this week that he would have won more as a player if he had a sports psychiatrist.

5. Taking with CBS This Morning's Charlie Rose this week, Greg Norman said he didn't win more majors because he was too stubborn, and if he had it to do over, he would hire a sports psychiatrist. Do you agree with Norman's assessment of his career?

SENS: He was being half honest. He probably could have used a shrink, but not exactly for the reasons he cites. The way he sees it, he was too stubborn and aggressive. The way a lot of others see it, he caved fairly frequently under pressure. In retrospect, I'm sure it's easier for him to think of his failings as a result of "stubbornness" and "aggression" Those are macho "shortcomings," so acceptable in the sports world that they almost pass as positives. I wager they're easier to live with than "Dang it, I shot 78 at Augusta in '96 and lost a six shot lead on Sunday" or "All I needed was a par from the middle of the fairway at 18 in '86 and to get myself into a playoff with Nicklaus." That would be more honest. Then again, we're all entitled to our little self-delusions, so long as they're harmless, which Norman's seem to be.

MORFIT: Yes. That's mighty candid of him. He was not so great at taking his foot off the gas. Sometimes, as Scott showed at Barclays, it's enough just to minimize mistakes and watch everyone else stumble down the stretch.

GODICH: I don't know how much a psychiatrist would have helped the Shark with his brain-locks. In the end, it still comes down to hitting the shots and holing the putts.

WALKER: Norman’s stubbornness (aka confidence) was probably the source of his greatness even as it prevented him winning more. Maybe a sports psychiatrist would have helped, but how do you advise someone who already knows everything?

SHIPNUCK: Well, stubborn is one word for it. Reckless works better. As does NBC: never be closin’.

PASSOV: I wasn't close enough to him to confirm that judgment. However, to be one of the greatest drivers of all time and to have seemingly limitless talent throughout the bag, it's inconceivable he didn't win many more majors. If the Shark is finally acknowledging that his main problem was between the ears, I'm buying.

RITTER: Does this mean he didn’t hire a shrink after the ’96 Masters?

6. CBS can't be everywhere on the golf course and needs to show Tiger's every move to keep the TV audience happy, but does the network owe it to us to note when it is showing a shot on tape? Two cases in point: The Graham DeLeat birdie putt at 15 and the Camilo Villegas missed par putt at 18 were both shown as if they were live. Yet if you were following the scoring on PGATour.com, you already knew the outcome of both putts.

SHIPNUCK: This is the golf-nerdiest question in the history of Tour Confidential. I think we should save our righteous anger for more important things, like banning the color orange.

GODICH: CBS in particular seems to get too caught up in Tiger and Phil. There was plenty of good golf being played on a crowded leaderboard, yet most of the attention was focused on those two and the final groups. I don't think it's asking too much to inform the viewers that a shot isn't being shown live.

RITTER: Nah. Golf broadcasts are informative, but first and foremost they’re entertainment. Just wait until FOX joins the party.

PASSOV: All the networks do this. I enjoy "predicting" when they're giving us a taped shot, as when they focus on some journeyman or unknown rookie for no apparent reason, without telling you it's taped. You just know that something great or something horrific has just happened to this player.

MORFIT: If you're living and dying with every shot then yes, you want to know if something is recorded. On the other hand, the way a golf telecast works, that would clutter up the screen with a whole lot of graphics. These guys don't always pull the trigger at the most opportune time to make a seamless TV show. The slight delay is a necessary evil.

WALKER: With so much golf to follow -- and so much attention on Tiger and Phil -- it’s understandable that CBS uses tape delay and if it’s within a minute or so, I don’t think they need to mention it. I’m more concerned with this Time Warner Cable-CBS blackout. Get it together, guys. The Masters is only 227 days away.

SENS: Yeah. They owe it to viewers to be honest. But imagine if they said, "And now, on tape delay, Camillo Villegas. . . ." The collective force of so many viewers simultaneously turning off their TVs would risk creating an earth-swallowing cosmic vortex. So, when you get right down to it, CBS was probably doing us a favor.

 

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