Norman Leaves a Major Frustrated Again
Jun. 17, 1996
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ It was another frustrating major for Greg Norman. He didn't collapse at Oakland Hills like he did at Augusta National. He didn't win, either.
``I hit the ball as well this week as I have all year, and I finished 3 over par,'' said Norman, whose finishing 70 left him at 283, five strokes behind U.S. Open winner Steve Jones.
At the Masters, it was Norman letting a big lead slip away in the final round. On the South Course at Oakland Hills, it was Norman never quite putting together one of his big charges.
``Putting should be the easiest part of the game, and I've made it the hardest,'' Norman said. ``That's why this is so frustrating.
``There have been a lot of times where I have played like a bunch of crap and won the tournament. This week, I played pretty well, and never even looked like winning.''
LOVE THE MONSTER: The South Course more than lived up to the Monster tag Ben Hogan placed on it back in 1951. Only three players broke par. Still, they were singing its praises as they were leaving.
``This course should be the standard for every U.S. Open in the future,'' said Lee Janzen, who finished with 69 for 283. ``The fairways were narrow, and you were punished for hitting in the rough, and the greens were undulating and difficult. But it was fair. That's exactly what the U.S. Open should be.''
``This is one of the best courses I have ever played,'' Greg Norman said. ``The people here did a fantastic job of taking care of every detail.''
PAVIN'S CROWN: It was a good run for defending U.S. Open champion Corey Pavin. Fame isn't always kind. But Pavin felt he wore the crown, instead of letting it wear him.
``It only changes you if you want if to, or if you let it,'' said Pavin, who finished with 4-over-par 74 for 289. ``I didn't let it get to me. I tried to take all the positive stuff and just work with it and enjoy it.''
DR. JACK: Dr. Jack Kevorkain, who has made his reputation by bucking the establishment, thinks golf could benefit with some changes. For example, he'd like to see names on the back of golf shirts, similar to baseball.
``There I go again,'' said Kevorkian, who was a spectator at the U.S. Open on Saturday. ``I always want to change things. And here I am surrounded by traditionalists.''
Kevorkian, who has been present 29 times at a suicide, said he wanted to meet Jack Nicklaus, who was playing his 40th and perhaps last Open.
``I'm going to walk up to Jack Nicklaus and tell him, `If you don't win, I'm here,' '' said Kevorkian, who took up golf about 10 years ago.
LOW AMATEUR: After milking most of the week's publicity, Tiger Woods wasn't even the low amateur. He shot 72 for 294 Sunday. Indiana University golfer Randy Leen, the last player into the Open as an alternate, closed with a 73 for a 291 finish.
SUCH A DEAL: Some enterprising youngsters at the corner of Lincoln and Lahser, near the northeast corner of the course, were holding up signs Sunday morning advertising a ``Father's Day Special'' of a bagel, cup of coffee and parking, all for $20.
CHIP SHOTS: Two-time Open champion Curtis Strange, who had a 69 Sunday for 287, said he was surprised to see the pin location at No. 18: nine yards back from the front edge, nine yards in from the right. ``That's one of the easier places they could put the pin,'' Strange said. ``You've got a lot of green to shoot at. But mostly this course is exactly what you'd expect for a Sunday of the U.S. Open.'' ... Jumbo Ozaki finished with a 74 for 292, 12-over for the Open. He says he will continue to play in Japan. ``In Japan, if you hit a good fairway shot, you know a standard approach shot and putt will do well enough for you,'' Ozaki said. ``Here, even if you hit a terrific tee shot, there are no guarantees.'' ... Wayne Westner was able to laugh off his double-hit from the rough on No. 17 Saturday. He had the first sub-par round on Sunday. ``It wasn't a bad shot,'' said Westner, who had 69 for 290. ``I hit it on the green twice!''