–Rick Jensen, on Greg Norman’s collapse at the 1996 Masters
This is the story of a conversation between golfer Greg Norman and sports psychologist Rick Jensen .... Even though this story has not been circulated in public, I don’t believe I am divulging any secrets here.Jensen goes on to tell what really happened to Norman at Augusta. It started before Norman got there. As the story goes, his ball striking was awful. He tried to get help from Butch Harmon before going to the Masters but Harmon said there wasn’t time to fiddle with his golf swing.
It is the story of April 14, 1996, when Norman took a six-stroke lead into the final round of the Masters. The Australian shot 78. It was a monumental collapse by Norman, and the word choke seems permanently attached to any recollection of that day.
And yet, Jensen wonders, are we missing part of this story? His conclusion: Yes, we are.
“Use your course management. Use your short game,” Butch said.
Something worked for three rounds. Norman said he was aiming away from pins and hitting the ball so crooked that his misses landed close to the hole.
The Shark didn’t sleep on Saturday night because, as he told Jensen, “I’m probably the only guy in the world who thinks, ‘I don’t know if I can hold it.’”
Those fears were realized the next day. Read the full story.