Golfer Greg Norman has opened up about his strained relationship with Tiger Woods, claiming Woods ignored a note he wrote congratulating him on his comeback US Masters win.
The 64-year-old former world Number 1 suggested Woods had never shown him the sort of respect Norman had received from the champions who came before him.
The Australian known as the Great White Shark was asked in an interview for Men’s Health magazine why there appeared to be no bond between him and Woods, 43.
‘I don’t know – maybe Tiger just dislikes me,’ Norman said. ‘I have no idea.’
Golfing legend Greg Norman has opened up about his strained relationship with Tiger Woods, claiming Woods ignored a hand-written note congratulating him on his US Masters win this year. The pair is pictured together during the British Open at Carnoustie, Scotland in 1999
Norman, 64, suggested Woods had never shown him the sort of respect Norman had received from the champions who came before him. The Great White Shark is pictured with wife Kirsten Kutner at a State Dinner for Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the White House in September
Norman revealed he had written Woods a congratulatory note after his win in the US Masters this year but Woods did not respond to him. Woods is pictured after that victory in April
Norman compared the generous treatment he received from legends Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer when he began winning tournaments in the 1980s with the lack of respect he got from Woods.
‘It’s a code of conduct in a lot of ways,’ Norman told the
‘Very few people know this: when Tiger won the Masters this year, I wrote him a handwritten note and drove down my road, maybe a quarter of a mile, and hand-delivered it to his guard at his gate.
‘I said, “Hey, this is Greg Norman here. I’ve got a note for Tiger – can you please hand-deliver it to him?”
‘Well, I never heard a word back from the guy.’
Norman, who spent 331 weeks as the world’s Number 1 golfer in the 1980s and 1990s, won 20 PGA Tournaments and two majors during his career.
Woods, who was world Number 1 for 683 weeks, has 82 PGA Tour titles and 15 majors, behind only Nicklaus on 18.
Norman said he drove to Woods’s house with his hand-written note. ‘I said, “Hey, this is Greg Norman here. I’ve got a note for Tiger – can you please hand-deliver it to him?” ‘Well, I never heard a word back from the guy.’ The pair is pictured together at the British Open in 2004
Norman compared the generous treatment he received from legends Jack Nicklaus (right) and Arnold Palmer (left) when he began winning tournaments in the 1980s with the lack of respect he claimed he got from Woods
‘When I won my first major championship, Jack Nicklaus was the first person to walk down out of the TV tower and congratulate me,’ Norman told Men’s Health.
‘I don’t know – maybe Tiger just dislikes me. I have no idea. I’ve never had a conversation with him about it.’
Norman had warned 12 months ago against the golfing world becoming too obsessed with Woods as he made his way back from injury and personal scandal to win his first PGA Tour in five years.
‘I think he’s done an excellent job of going from where he was over a year ago, saying I may never play the game of golf again, to where he is today,’ Norman told
‘Massive leap, quite honestly, in 12 months. God bless him. He did everything right, stepped up to the plate and won.
‘It’s good for him, there’s no question. It’s good for the game of golf, no question. But I hope they don’t put all their eggs in one basket again and be all Tiger…
Norman had warned 12 months ago against the golfing world becoming too obsessed with Woods as he made his way back from injury and personal scandal to win his first PGA Tour in five years. The pair is pictured shaking hands at St Andrews, Scotland, in 2005
‘There is an unbelievable amount of talent bubbling up around the world, and I’d hate to see them get lost again in that Tiger talk.’
Norman also revealed to Men’s Health how stepping away the game had helped ‘cleanse’ his body and how he had an ambition to live to the age of 110.
After 13 surgeries on his shoulders, knees, back and hip during his playing days, he had been on a cocktail of medications and painkillers.
But since setting down his clubs and focusing on course design Norman felt as young as ever.
‘I’ve been very open about the fact I want to be the longest-living Norman,’ he said.
‘And the Normans have some really good genes. On my mother’s side, it’s 90s and 100s. My dad is 93 this year. I’d like to hit 108, 110.’
Golfing icon Greg Norman (pictured with wife Kirsten Kutner) likened the ‘pure’ golf shot to the feeling of an orgasm while speaking about his desire to live to be 100 years old
Though his passion for playing the game was not what is once was, Norman said hitting a ‘pure’ gold shot was ‘as good as having an orgasm’.
‘I’m deadly serious, there’s an absolute rush. The rotation of your body, the timing, the feel, the sound, the end results, the visual side of the ball taking off from the club face … it’s just such a sensual feeling,’ he said.
But Norman said after hitting more than five million golf balls in his life he had to step away and let his body recover.
In time, he was able to stop taking painkillers.
Since stepping away from professional golf Norman has built a reputation as a top tier course designer.
Norman (pictured on the course in Florida earlier this year) said the feel, rotation and the visual of the ‘pure’ golf shot made it ‘such a sensual feeling’