Norman Conquers Europe
Australia’s Greg Norman claimed the biggest individual payout in British golfing history and took over as the new world No. 1 with his win in the European Open here today.
Norman beat Scot Ken Brown at the first hole of a sudden death playoff after both players had tied at 11-under par after 72 holes.
His total of 269 came from rounds of 67, 67, 69, 66.
His win today earned him $83,913, and he collected a bonus of $119,875 for adding the title to his British Open triumph in July, making his total takings for the event $203,788.
The victory took him to the top of the world rankings ahead of Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer.
For Norman the number one rating meant as much as winning.
“It has always been my ambition to be the best player in the world,” Norman said.
“I’ve worked hard at it and it’s great to be there.”
A share of the hard work was done at Sunningdale.
From five shots behind after the first round, Norman came back to be one down after 36 holes and after rain stopped play on the third day he began the final round a shot off the lead.
Norman got to 11-under with a birdie at the 14th where he held a two-stroke advantage over Brown who was playing in the following group.
The Scot birdied the 14th and 15th to take a share of the lead and had to recover from a greenside bunker to force the playoff.
Disaster seemed certain when Norman pushed his tee shot at the first extra hole into trees on the right.
But the ball fell clear and he hit a two iron to five metres while Brown’s second shot from the middle of the fairway was eight metres short of the green and 15 metres from the flag.
Brown took three shots to get down while Norman took two putts to win.