Greg Norman backs Adam Scott to get over Lytham
GREG Norman has backed Adam Scott to bounce back from his Open Championship meltdown after a heart-to-heart with his fellow Australian in the wake of Sunday’s soul-destroying finish at Royal Lytham.
No-one has been a bigger influence on Scott’s career than the Great White Shark, the pair having formed a relationship over the years that Norman admits has made him feel like a “father-figure” to his younger compatriot.
It’s why Scott was constantly texting the two-time Open champion before and during last week’s major and also why he spent a long time talking to Norman on the phone after he dropped shots at the closing four holes to have his heart broken by Ernie Els.
“I feel for him,” said Norman as he prepared to launch his title bid for the Senior Open Championship at Turnberry, where he claimed the first of his two Claret Jug victories in 1986. “He stays at my house. He practises at my house. He works with his long putter at my house.
“I’ve spent a lot of quality time with him to know how he feels and understand what he’s going through. I spoke to him at length on Sunday night and he was great during our conversation.
“I’m not going to go into detail about it, but I basically told him to think of the 68 holes he played phenomenally well, better than anyone else. Even over the closing four holes, he probably hit 60 per cent of his shots the way he played the previous 68 holes.
“It just didn’t happen for him on this occasion, but I told him to always look forward, never back, and use the loss as a catalyst to be a winner, not using it as a catalyst to be a loser.”
Norman’s own career was sprinkled with painful near misses in majors, notably when he took a six-stroke lead into the final round of the 1996 Masters only to lose out to Nick Faldo after slumping to a disastrous 78.
“It’s the things you learn from experience,” added the 57-year-old. “Adam knows he’s good enough to win. He wants to win a major and, once you bite that snake’s head off, that snake is dead forever. You just have to get through that door and he will, for sure.”
Scott’s first chance to show he’s not been scarred for life will come in next month’s USPGA Championship at Kiawah Island, the final major of the season coming straight after the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.
“This week will be tough as he has the week off and you do reflect, no question about it,” admitted Norman. “If he gets himself in position in Akron, there will be a lot of questions asked again but you have to block it out the best you can and accept it is part of the deal. Sometimes embracing adversity is easier than running away from it. His game right now is very, very good and one of my last comments to him was just think about winning the PGA and the Masters [the next two majors].”
After missing the last two Senior Opens due to injury, Norman is delighted to be making his return at Turnberry, where he spreadeagled the field with a sparkling second-round 63 to set up his five-shot win 26 years ago.
Speaking of the day he was made an honorary member of the Ayrshire resort, he said: “That triumph is probably in the top four of five tournaments in my career and the round on the Friday was one of the top two or three.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west