When Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters, Greg Norman — who lives near Woods in Jupiter Island, Fla. — dropped off a congratulatory note at his gatehouse. But Norman’s miffed that he’s never gotten a response from Woods.
Norman appeared in this month’s Men’s Health and opened up on everything from his body to his personal life to how long he hopes to live (“I’d like to hit 108, 110,” he said).
Regarding Woods, the specific question Norman was asked is: What did you feel when Tiger Woods won the US Masters this year? I ask because there doesn’t seem to be any bond between the two of you.
Norman explicitly laid out the story following this year’s Masters.
“Yeah, look, I’m happy to clear that up for you. Like, when you ask me a question, I’m going to give you an honest answer. I’m not going to bulls— to you. I’m also going to draw on my experience of the past in terms of what Jack Nicklaus did for me, what Arnold Palmer did for me . . . where there was that respect handed off from the generation before you.
“It’s a code of conduct in a lot of ways. 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. When I won my first major championship, Jack Nicklaus was the first person to walk down out of the TV tower and congratulate me.
“I don’t know – maybe Tiger just dislikes me. I have no idea. I’ve never had a conversation with him about it. I’ve always been respectful about what his father did for him. I played nine holes with him at his father’s and IMG’s request when Tiger was 14 or 15 and I was the No. 1 player in the world, to give an assessment of this kid. So, I have always been willing.”
Woods media-relations representative did not immediately respond to GOLF.com’s request for comment.
Norman and Woods have known each other for decades — Earl Woods even initially asked Butch Harmon to coach Tiger based on his work with then World No. 1 Norman — but the relationship has allegedly cooled this decade. Norman is never shy with his takes, and we know how good Woods is at keeping score. A few selections:
In 2011, Norman said he would have chosen Keegan Bradley over Tiger Woods for the Presidents Cup. “I can understand the name of a Tiger Woods and his history of what he’s done on the golf course,” Norman said at the time. “But I pick the guys who I think are ready to get in there and play and have performed to the highest levels leading up to it.” (Woods went on to win the clinching point.)
In 2012, Norman told Robert Lusetich of FoxSports.com that he saw a major difference in Woods. “What I’m seeing is that Tiger’s really intimidated by Rory,” he said.
And in 2017, Norman told everybody to pump the brakes on Woods’ comeback. “You just hope it continues on for him, because a lot of the stuff he’s done has been self inflicted,” Norman said after Woods showed promise at the Hero World Challenge. “I hope he manages his expectations more than everybody else’s expectations being he’s going to come back and be Tiger of past. I think he still has a little bit of time on his side, but not a whole lot.”
Interestingly, Norman’s comments echoed remarks he made on Golf Channel in 2012, when Norman mentioned he’d reached out to Woods to offer counsel on regaining top form.
“I’ve had no response,” he said on Morning Drive. “We live a half mile from each other.”
Plenty has changed in those seven years, for Norman and for Woods. But that proximity — and silence — has stayed the same.
“I think it’s great he’s in the neighborhood,” he said at the time. “But Tiger’s his own individual. He’s going to do things his way.”