Was the Norman collapse in the '96 Masters actually "choking"?

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  • emncaityemncaity Members Posts: 182 ✭✭
    edited Jan 11, 2019 3:48am #92
    jmck wrote:

    Matt J wrote:
    I used to race road bikes in college and I get the joke and actually like the pictures, but I do find it a bit disrespectful to the OP and the users that are actually enjoying the topic to post something distracting in the thread. Take it to the 19th hole and your own thread if you can't refrain.




    OP blew up someone else’s totally unrelated thread with this revisionist history before starting this one, so no sympathy needed.



    As to the topic and hand, let’s crack open the dictionary.....



    “Choke....4 : to lose one's composure and fail to perform effectively in a critical situation...

    //had a chance to win the game but he choked.”



    Norman at Augusta in 96? It’s literally the definition of choke.




    I didn't "blow up" anything, you whining t**. I posted a single comment (I think it was one) about that round, prompted by a photo somebody had posted. Other people made comments about other photos. After posting whatever I did, I was flooded with responses. I replied to those responses. What is your f-ing problem with that, specifically? Do you think I'm obligated not to answer whoever's responding?



    Get a f--king grip already and stop your incessant, stupid whining. Scroll past whatever you don't want to read, here or anywhere else. I mean, here you are on a completely different thread, continuing to b!tch and moan, contributing absolutely nothing even tangential Good God, you ridiculous child.



    As for the dictionary, you're showing yourself to be ridiculous in a different way there. If you don't understand the difference between denotation and connotation, maybe your education is your problem.



    But still, if I gave a single sh!t what you thought at this point, I'd ask you exactly when Norman "lost his composure," as opposed to simply being his normal habitually aggressive self in a situation where it wasn't working. Was it at #1, when he hooked it left with a six-shot lead, and every expectation of winning? After a comeback birdie at #2 and a par at #3, he's still got a huge lead, and he's trying to fit the ball over a bunker to a pin behind it on the long par-3 4th? Was that a problem with "composure"?



    And so on.



    It's such a bankrupt argument, based on a laughable "let's go to the dictionary" schoolmarmishness, it's not even really worth addressing.
  • emncaityemncaity Members Posts: 182 ✭✭
    Matt J wrote:


    gigjam78 wrote:


    If Norman shot 74 and lost would you feel the same way? Let's not forget Faldo shot 67 didn't exactly wait for Norman to fall back. Yes it was a bad round but every golfer has them unfortunately for Norman it was on Sunday at Augusta. You don't have a career as accomplished as his and hold the title as #1 in the world for the second longest run in history and not have nerves of steel. To go with his cocky attitude and demeanor. He simply had a bad day


    I think Norman tried to play smart, mistake free golf thinking he'd make a couple birdies, a couple bogeys, put up about a 72 and win by 2 or 3. I think he was fine until his gaffe at 9 and I think that really shook him up. His body language and demeanor changed a lot from that point. It's from there that he looks tight and seems to be wilting to the pressure. I think two things can be true at once, Faldo can have played lights out and Norman can have succumbed to the pressure. You said if Norman shoots 74 does that change things. I think it's hard to accept Norman losing by 5 on that course in those conditions when he led by 5 going in without seeing that some of that was self inflicted.




    This is an excellent observation and I agree.



    But, I would add, watching it at the moment it's like every little miscue keeps adding up and looks like 3 or 4 more pounds on his shoulders. And he scrambles like a mad man the whole time. A few putts and neither or the balls wet on 12 an 16 and he wins by two. Just blowing me away watching how he slides little by little. And, we've all felt it. That feeling that the whole round rests on a single swing which of course goes bad. I'm guessing you are referring to not hitting one more club on the approach on 9 and hitting it long?



    The first time I ever remember really getting into the red, I was playing super loose enjoying a conversation with a new playing partner and another another partner that I've always enjoyed playing with. Didn't feel like I was doing anything real special, hitting fairways and greens. Sank a big bomb of a putt on two, had a great up and down on three, almost holed out an 8 iron on the par 3, hit some good putts to make pars, then hit another wedge to kick in on a par 5, and all of a sudden I'm 4 under after 8 holes. Scared the bejesus out of me and I was instantly cooked. Stood on the tee at 9 and actually jokingly said to my buddy, I just want to go home right now and be able to say I was 4 under after 8. Immediately went double double single bogey to shoot a 73. image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    That's a choke.




    Ha. Probably so. But then, you hadn't just spent three years as the #1 player in the world, so.



    I think what you're saying about Norman is pretty much dead on. In fact, all he's got to do is keep the ball dry on #12 and #16, par only one of those two, just hit it anywhere on the green on #9 and #10 and shake in a two-putt, and avoid that three-putt at #11. Just steady, not spectacular. But Norman is DNAed for spectacular. There is no problem on a golf course that can't be solved with more birdies, to a guy like that.
  • emncaityemncaity Members Posts: 182 ✭✭
    baudi wrote:


    First of all, I remember the emotional and friendly etiquette between both players on the 18th.

    To me, this is ultimate strength of sportsmanship which is seen less and less today.

    At a distance, people always seem to complain about Greg Norman but the man showed he stood tall overcoming this loss. I take my hat off for his attitude.



    (Do not forget GN battled Olazabal for a win in 99).



    For three days Greg Norman displayed flawless golf never seen before. No one came close.

    Starting a final round anyone will realize to reach the level of golf achieved earlier that week will be impossible. So yes, this disadvantage is a mental issue but I reckon the day would have been different if Norman would have had a smaller lead or one or two strokes behind.



    During the front nine on the last day, Norman was a bit unlucky with some shots but afterwards he explained he was losing his swing. Later he said he was hitting wedges 3 yards shorter.

    Yet he thought he could still win tilll 16. Chokers do not think like that. They revel in negativism.



    Of course Sir Nick smelled his chances. he nailed a crucial shot at 13 or 15 where he changed 5 wood for a two iron and had to deal with an unpleasant reaction of the audience. The worst memory he had is that people felt Norman had actually lost the tournament whereas Faldo did not get full respect for winning the Masters.



    Often watching golf is quite boring but this display is the ultimate show down.




    That's just really well done.



    He was right about still being in it until #16, of course. Even with the insanity up to that point, he was still only two back, just one birdie-bogey exchange on a single hole. Which is exactly why he had to make sure that ball stayed dry. Chunk it on the front third of the green two clubs short, but make it dry. It was the only hole left with disaster potential. People forget he drove the ball to wedge distance on the last two holes. Not that it mattered by then, but the point is that both were real birdie opportunities. Just get there without falling off the cliff on the one hole where there was still a cliff to fall off.



    As for hitting wedges three yards short, I don't know about that. He hit an excellent wedge at #7, for instance, although he may have meant to hit it past the hole and let it come back. But at #9, the real beginning of the disaster, if he hit that wedge only three yards short, it only highlights exactly why you have to get a yardage seven or eight yards past that hole in that situation. If he's got a yardage seven yards past, he can hit it three yards shorter than that and he's still almost certainly OK, not 30 yards back down the fairway.



    I agree Faldo didn't get full credit for a great win here. He does in my mind, though.
  • vmanvman Members Posts: 1,235 ✭✭
    emncaity wrote:

    vman wrote:



    He shot 78 - total choke.
    Similar to the '86 USPGA where he shot 76. Everyone goes on about Tway's holed bunker shot but Norman had 3 sub 70 rounds prior to his closing 76.




    ... ten years earlier. Since that time he'd been #1 in the world for three years, played a stretch of some of the best golf in history, and played one of the greatest final rounds in major championship history at the '93 Open.



    Problem is, people use selective evidence to advance the Norman-as-choker narrative they already believe. Were you aware of the time he came from way back to make a multiplayer playoff in the final round of an Open? Or any of the other good final rounds he had?
    US Open '86, led by 1 and finished with a 75 for t12th. Worst final round score of the top 20. Greg Norman was a great golfer and his achievements are set in stone but so are his Major chokes.
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  • lowheellowheel LOWHEEL Members Posts: 6,248 ✭✭
    Yes, close thread. No amount of mental gymnastics will change that.the man said so himself, pretty much case closed
  • mosesgolfmosesgolf Members Posts: 6,834 ✭✭
    edited Jan 11, 2019 6:59am #97
    Greg put himself in a position to win but just couldn’t close the deal. Someone stepped up and snatched victory after victory. It’s uncanny how this guy lost so often.



    Bob Tway PGA

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    Faldo Masters

    Olazabel Masters

    Harrington British Open

    Azinger PGA

    Zoeller US Open

    Nicklaus Masters

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    Faldo also doesn’t receive the credit he deserves for that near flawless final round. I saw everything that day and that’s what you call a FINAL ROUND. Faldo had nerves of steel and Greg a wet noodle.
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  • Scotty1140Scotty1140 Members Posts: 4,474 ✭✭
    OP, it was a choke.



    100% choke.



    A historic, epic choke and will be talked about for decades to come.



    He shot 78 (one of the worst rounds of the day) in the final group of The Masters with a huge lead. This situation could be used in place of an actual definition of the word "choke".



    I've been a huge Norman fan since I was a kid. Him and Nick Price were the first golfers I remember being favorites of mine. One can still be a fan of Norman and accept this.
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Members Posts: 5,251 ✭✭
    I said in an earlier post that IMO it was more complex than simply being labeled a "choke."



    It's really just semantics, so not important one way or the other, but considerthe following example scenarios:



    1. Player has a 2 foot putt to win on the final hole after playing (and putting) well all day. Nerves get the better of him, he flinches, never releases the putter, weakley blocking the putt, with the ball not even touching the hole. (Pretty much a choke by anyone's definition)



    2. Player arrives at the course and everything feels "off." His body won't do what he knows it should do...even during his warm-up. He can't strike the ball the way he usually does no matter how hard he tries. Something is wrong and he's not sure what it is or how to fix it. It's beyond the typical pre-round nerves. (I think weve all had these days, even just showing up for a casual/recreational round).



    Now, take scenario #2 above and add all of the pressure of your own desires combined with being on the golf world's largest stage on a course that requires precision from the best players in the world.



    I've competed enough to sadly have experienced both of the above scenarios, and they are most definitely very different. Sure, in my cases nothing near the magnitude of a major championship...but hey, club championship, County Amateur, etc. are majors for me...lol!



    And sometimes scenario #2 shows up on days where I'm just playing a casual/unimportant round, so cant blame the nerves or pressure.



    Now, have that "off" feeling when you awake in the morning and add all of the internal and external pressure of a major championship on a world stage. Frightening, and quite different than your standard "choke."



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  • FrostfieldFrostfield Members Posts: 924 ✭✭
    emncaity wrote:

    Matt J wrote:


    Watching the coverage, the amazing thing to me is really how well Norman plays.




    Finally, somebody who really gets it -- who actually sees what's there. Almost nobody remembers what actually happened. Ask most people, they'll tell you Norman absolutely hacked it all over the place that day. Which he absolutely didn't. Augusta is just really good at punishing bad decisions, and boy, did it ever.



    Please stay tuned for the hole-by-hole summary I'm trying to get posted tomorrow. Would love to know what you think.


    Matt J wrote:


    Although I don't like the word choke and wouldn't use it about anyone else, especially someone I like, I'd use it on myself.



    There's a fine line like "shank" in making it into something bigger than it is.



    There's no great mystery of why people cave under pressure. Everyone has something that will endanger their performance. Much like what Tiger says about the subject, he learned to dominant and close by practicing doing it repeatedly. Everyone has to put themselves in a place to "choke" and do it over and over again to beat it.



    As I mentioned earlier, Norman was just a few swings and a few putts away from closing this thing, but that level of play, on that course, at that tournament, is a very very thin line.


    An accurate and sober assessment, I think.




    He didn’t play that well for a top pro. Missed a 2 footer at 11. Whiffed blocked tee shot at 12. 30 yard hook at 16. The teeshots at 12 and 16 are especially inexcusable because of where the prudent targets are. The problem and choke came because he compounded his mistakes. The missed shorty on 11 probably caused him to “go for it” on 12...
  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Masters! ClubWRX Posts: 17,891 ClubWRX
    edited Jan 11, 2019 9:08am #101
    Fortunately the serious mess the OP made of the other thread has been cleaned up and the thread is back on track!



    And I'm not lying about that, lol, it really is back to being about Tour pics - enjoy!!!!
  • RangeballzRangeballz Members Posts: 1,707 ✭✭
    Why is it so important to determine if "choke" is the proper word? Who is offended here? What is better, collapse? Fold?



    If it looks like a choke and smells like a choke, it's a choke.
  • Birdie MacBirdie Mac Members Posts: 547 ✭✭
    Agreed. It'a a distinction without any difference.
  • tideridertiderider Members Posts: 1,748 ✭✭
    and his is certainly not the first ... people forget about seve's 4-iron into the pond on 15 in '86 ... that's one of the worst golf shots i've even seen a professional hit (the wedge at 17 wasn't all that great, either) ... probably a better example of succumbing to pressure since it was one shot, and was played after a 300 yard drive and then hearing the roars from the near hole-in-one jack had on 16 ... tom kite missed 3 birdie putts of 10 ft or less on the back, including one at 18 ... left them all short ...



    also of note, the commentary on 16 before jack hits is the best golf commentary of all time, imo ...



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  • JagpilotohioJagpilotohio 45+ inch drivers are evil. Columbus, OHMembers Posts: 7,243 ✭✭
    How is this stupid thread 4 freaking pages long in 8 hours!?!??



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  • Matt JMatt J Members Posts: 8,735 ✭✭


    How is this stupid thread 4 freaking pages long in 8 hours!?!??




    It's not. It was started on Wednesday.



    Some of us weren't over in the Tour Pics thread and some of you need to quit following each other from thread to thread.



    BTW, that article that was posted earlier is an excerpt from a book, order placed. Even if it's just a club championship I want to start playing better under pressure and closing out without a hiccup.



    And my post about being 4 under through 8 I should have stated I was carrying about a 6 index. It would be the equivalent of a pro being on a 59 watch on Thurs or Fri and shooting a 65.
  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Masters! ClubWRX Posts: 17,891 ClubWRX
    edited Jan 11, 2019 10:54am #107


    How is this stupid thread 4 freaking pages long in 8 hours!?!??




    LOL, the OP has 30+ posts in about an hour and one half in the wee hours of this morning basically talking to himself, that explains about 1/2 the thread. ;-)



    And some of the tour pics took up a little room!
  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Masters! ClubWRX Posts: 17,891 ClubWRX
    edited Jan 11, 2019 11:00am #108
    Matt J wrote:



    How is this stupid thread 4 freaking pages long in 8 hours!?!??




    It's not. It was started on Wednesday.



    Some of us weren't over in the Tour Pics thread and some of you need to quit following each other from thread to thread.



    BTW, that article that was posted earlier is an excerpt from a book, order placed. Even if it's just a club championship I want to start playing better under pressure and closing out without a hiccup.



    And my post about being 4 under through 8 I should have stated I was carrying about a 6 index. It would be the equivalent of a pro being on a 59 watch on Thurs or Fri and shooting a 65.




    Ordered it also!



    Edit: and a straw sticking out of a lemon is such a metaphor for my mental game. ;-)
  • JagpilotohioJagpilotohio 45+ inch drivers are evil. Columbus, OHMembers Posts: 7,243 ✭✭
    I saw “yesterday” 1:50 AM as the start time. My mistake. Oops.... It’s a whole 32 hours old. LOLOLOL!!
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