The Loop

Jenkins: Norman Win Would Rank Among Top 5

SOUTHPORT, England--Golf Digest Writer-at-Large Dan Jenkins has covered more than 50 Masters and first came to the British Open in 1962, last missing an Open Championship in 1969. Add all his U.S. Opens and PGA Championships, and the man has witnessed in the neighborhood of 200 majors in his career. In short, he appreciates history.

Not to get ahead of ourselves--though, as you're about to see, we will anyway--over breakfast Sunday morning we asked Jenkins where a victory by 53-year-old Greg Norman today at Birkdale would rank on the all-time list. Without the benefit of knowing how the drama will play out, Jenkins would put it among the top five, joining these:

--Ben Hogan wins the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion, coming back from his near-fatal accident.

--Jack Nicklaus wins his sixth Masters at age 46 in 1986, ripping the heart out of Greg Norman, among others.

--Francis Ouimet, a 20-year-old amateur who lived next to The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., walks across the street to win the 1913 U.S. Open, defeating Brits Harry Vardon and Ted Ray to define a new era in American golf.

--Tiger Woods, at age 21, wins the 1997 Masters by 12 strokes.

Where would Norman rank? Let's see if he wins today.

--Mike O'Malley