Greg Norman is golf's most complex and controversial celebrity and perhaps its most gifted and charismatic player. Winner of more than 70 tournaments, including the 1986 and 1993 British Opens, he has reigned as the world's number-one-ranked golfer for most of a decade and began 1998 as the PGA Tour's career-earnings leader with almost $12 million. As ruthless in the boardroom as he is on the golf course, the Shark turned a $2 million stake in Cobra Golf into a payoff of more than $40 million, bought a Boeing 747 jet for his personal use, and launched a clothing line bearing his multicolored-shark motif. Three parts Crocodile Dundee, two parts Jack Nicklaus, and one part Don Quixote, the jet-setting Shark is larger than life. He has raced Ferraris with Nigel Mansell, hauled marlin over the side of plunging boats, scuba dived with sharks, taken a joyride in an F-14, saved drowning friends, and entertained a US president at his Florida compound. Yet Norman stands blond head and broad shoulders above golf's elite as the sport's most notorious victim of cruel calamity. His dramatic losses at the 1986 PGA Championship, the 1987 Masters, and the 1996 Masters rank among golf's most inexplicable defeats rendered by the most outrageous strokes of misfortune. In this riveting and revealing biography, internationally acclaimed journalist Lauren St. John examines Norman's conquests as well as his failures and his relationships with his father, his agents, fellow golfers, and caddies. Using her unparalleled access to dozens of people who know Norman best, including the Shark himself, St. John explains how Norman's fear of bankruptcy drove him to win the 1986 British Open; exclusively reveals the background of the break-up with his first manager and his subsequent split with IMG; tells why golf's greatest natural talent has so often snatched defeat from the jaws of victory; and explains his tempestuous relationships with Jack Nicklaus and other top players.
©1998 Lauren St. John; (P)1999 Blackstone Audiobooks