Some of my associates at FanSided are doing a Throw Back Thursday post, so I decided to try it out here at Pro Golf Now. What better subject during The Players Championship week than to feature the guy who owned TPC Sawgrass in 1994, The Shark himself, Greg Norman.
Norman had a “once in a lifetime” week at Ponte Vedra Beach in 1994 and to date, still holds the tournament record with a 264 total at -24 under par.
The closest anyone ever came, was -19 under par set by Jack Nicklaus during his second win in 1976. Jack won the inaugural event in 1974 at -6 under par, and still is the only player to win this event three times, the last came in 1978 at +1 over par.
Martin Kaymer was able to tie the course record 63 on Thursday which was originally set by Fred Couples in 1993. Greg Norman tied the record again in 1994, and Roberto Castro matched the feat last year.
The big loser in 1994 was Fuzzy Zoeller. Imagine shooting a tournament record -20 under par at Sawgrass, and getting beat by four shots. When asked by a reporter if that was the best he had ever played, and not won.
“Son,” said Zoeller, “that’s the best I’ve ever played and had absolutely no chance of winning.”
Fans today think of Phil Mickelson as the King of grip it and rip it, but before Phil came along, that title belonged to Greg Norman. As great as he was during his playing days, he was sometimes referred to a “The King of Dumb”. He lost some heart-breakers along the way, like the 84 US Open at Winged Foot.
In 1986 Greg had the lead, or a piece of the lead on Saturday night at the Masters, the US Open, and The PGA Championship, and didn’t win one of them.
Norman did win two majors during his career, both at the British Open in 1986, and 1993. He officially had 20 wins on the PGA Tour, 14 wins on the European Tour, and 31 PGA Tour of Australia wins.
But on a weekend in March of 1994, he owned the Pete Dye designed Stadium course at Ponte Vedra Beach sometimes called The Mean Deane Dome…… Just ask Fuzzy!
Note: (The Players was played in March during the early years and moved to May in 2007).