Shootout at Desert Scramble Goes to Norman/Woosnam
The $399,000 Desert Scramble pitted four of golf’s biggest stars in a two-man team competition at Scottsdale Golf Club. Greg Norman and Welshman Ian Woosnam were paired against Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino. The international duo sunk an 18-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to secure a one-shot victory worth $266,000 – and a $66,000 bonus for winning the final hole.
Norman and Woosnam mounted an impressive comeback over the final 11 holes – including a 6-under 30 on the back nine – to overcome a two-shot deficit and hold off two legends of the game. It was, in fact, a mad scramble, particularly over the final five holes.
After matching 8-under 64s, the contest was relocated to the par-3 179-yard 18th hole on the adjacent Geronimo Course to decide a champion. Predetermined playoff rules dictated that the first birdie would win. If neither team carded a birdie, the tee shot closest to the pin would determine the winner.
Norman selected an 8-iron and his shot came to rest 15 feet from the hole. Nicklaus’ tee shot was just a bit further away while Woosnam and Trevino were both 30 feet from he hole.
Norman and Woosnam chose the closer of the two balls and Woosnam had the first run at birdie. His putt skirted the edge, but Norman, putting second, knew the line and made the victory-clinching putt. A boisterous gallery in excess of 3,000 followed this group around the course.
Nicklaus and Trevino went out in 32, good enough for a two-shot cushion at the turn. They were done in by a bogey on 17, their only blemish. Norman and Woosnam parred that hole to pull even at 7 under. Both teams birdied the 18th to force the playoff.
“I’m sure that’s what people wanted to see,” said Norman after the match. “A great finish. We were far behind after 13, but I wasn’t thinking of quitting. I told Ian, if we made a few quick birdies we could tie things up and that’s what we did.”