Greg Norman got himself back into contention for the only major championship he has ever won, but after his second-round 70 he was fuming about a triple-bogey 7 he posted at the 459-yard 17th today at the British Open.
Norman drove his tee shot into the left rough, and he couldn't see the top of the ball through the high hay and thick grass. Using a sand wedge, he whiffed his second shot. He shanked his third across the fairway into the right rough and his fourth landed in high grass behind the green. He needed a chip and two more putts to ruin what had been a 4-under day through 16.
Norman had complained Wednesday about the narrowness of Carnoustie's fairways, and today he was in high dudgeon.
"The tee shot was basically three paces off the edge of the fairway," he said. "It was one of those deals where I don't think hitting a tee shot off the fairway by nine feet deserves something like that.
"In my estimation, I don't think that's the way the game of golf should be played. You've all heard us [moan] all week long. I got a real dose of the true punishment of what it is like and it doesn't feel good. I don't think my tee shot deserved or warranted having an air swing for my second shot."
Norman said he had an ally in his disdain for the course set-up.
"The lady scorer who walked around with us today didn't like what happened at 17 either," he said. "She's obviously a golfer. She said, `That's not right.' I'm sure the amateur golfer wouldn't want to go around here either. They'd probably make 7, too."
Norman had a run-in with an amateur golfer -- and petty thief -- earlier in the week. He said a roofer working on his home in Florida stole his regular set of clubs last week and actually took them to a driving range. When the fellow's identity was publicized, he returned the clubs Monday, and Norman spent all day cleaning them and putting in new shafts. "I had to get all the carpet stains and rubber off," he said. "He wasn't a very good golfer."
Victory, of Sorts
Tom Watson's 25-foot birdie putt at the 250-yard 16th marked the first time in seven rounds at Carnoustie (five when he won in a playoff in 1975) that he didn't post an over-par score on the hole. "I still haven't parred it," he said. "I had to chuckle to myself, `You finally did it, Watson.' "
His 15-footer for birdie at the 18th evoked memories of his 72nd-hole birdie in '75 that forced an 18-hole playoff with Australian Jack Newton. Watson prevailed the next day by a shot, winning the first of his five British Open titles.
Watson, who missed the cut by a stroke, liked the course set-up better in '75. "Giving golfers only 15 yards [of width] in the fairways, I think that's below the minimum," he said.
Garcia's Second Go
Sergio Garcia stuck around today to face the media after shooting 83. He posted three more double bogeys for a two-day total of 172, 30 over par, and said he had been properly humbled.
"Is this the worst experience I've had in golf? Probably so," the 19-year-old Spaniard said. "I will learn from this. It hasn't put me off. I just intend to forget it."
CAPTION: "I don't think hitting a tee shot off the fairway by nine feet deserves something like" hacking out of this rough at No. 17, says Greg Norman.