Norman Crushes Field - Open by Ten
In spectacular style, Greg Norman absolutely decimated the field at the Australian Open by a whopping 10 strokes. That winning margin was also the largest in the history of the event. By recording 66s in the second and third rounds, Norman firmly planted his foot and pushed away all would-be challengers.
Scotsman Sandy Lyle, who has become a frequent runner-up to the dominant Australian, finished second with 5-under-par 283 total. Gordon Brand and Roger Wood shared third at 2 under. In total, only five players broke par on the demanding Royal Melbourne layout.
If ever there was a convincing win, this was it. From the very first hole Norman displayed his accuracy and power off the tee, his fine-tuned iron shots and a deft touch with the flat stick. It was as if the rest of the field recognized there would be no stopping the juggernaut, at leas not this week.
The Australian Open is synonymous for sensational challenges, where anything can happen and the unusual becomes commonplace. This year was no different.
Closely cropped greens led to controversial opinions by much of the field, and when conditions became so frustrating on the third green some players simply laid down their clubs and refused to continue play.
Lyle was instrumental in orchestrating a player-protest walkout, after a slew of competitors were seven- and eight-putting the third green. Norman, though himself able to negotiate the grossly firm and slick greens, supported the protest. The field eventually reassembled and the tournament was completed, albeit a day tardy.
With this victory, Norman maintained a stranglehold on the World No. 1 ranking.