Norman's Conquest: Greg Guns Down Rivals
Australian Greg Norman, tipped by some of world golf’s superstars to make it to the very top, collected the biggest pay cheque of his short career when he shot a final round two under par 68 to win the $500,000 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open at rainswept Fanling yesterday.
The powerfully built, blond Norman finished the 72-hole tournament six strokes under par to win the first prize of $100,000 by three strokes.
A trio of Taiwanese were bunched together in second place, all three under par. They were overnight leadesn Lu Hsi-chucn (74) and Hsu Chi-san (74) together with the very consistent Chen Tse-ming who had scored under par in his first three rounds and went round in regulation 70 yesterday.
Among the final day fallen were Graham Marsh, who led for the first two rounds and was lying in joint second with Norman overnight three off the pace. Marsh ballooned to a 76 to finish the tournament in joint fourth place with a 72-hole score of 281, two over par for the four rounds.
Despite the miserable conditions which existed for much of the day – blustery winds and a sweeping drizzle kept spectators and players company throughout the afternoon – the final day produced, as had been hoped for and predicted, some top-drawer, exciting golf.
It came largely from Norman who displayed qualities which could, indeed, bear out the prophesies of players like Nicklaus and Tom Watson, who have publicly stated he has a tremendous future.
He produced some superb shots during the course of his round and his putting under enormous pressure on several occasions was hallmark of his game. His winning putt was quite brilliant – he sank a 14-footer in front of the vast gallery on the 18th for a birdie three and his 68. It capped a tremendous round for the likeable young Australian who seems almost nerveless.
Despite finding himself in tome tight corners – including a tense scene of the ninth which resulted in some barracking from the crowd – he stayed calm and very confident. He found time to chat amiably with friends and passsers-by as he strolled from hole to hole.
In the end, young Australian was on the final green in two and delighted the crowd with his masterly 14 footer for a birdie three and a three stroke victory.