PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Loop

Norman: 'The worst day of my life'

July 13, 2009

It had nothing to do with golf, everything to do with business. One day last March, Norman's businesses had to lay off 25 percent of their work force, according to Derek Lawrenson's revealing profile in Tuesday's Daily Mail.

"I'd take losing the Open at Birkdale in a heartbeat over telling a quarter of my workforce that I had to let them go," Norman tells Lawrenson. "It was the first time I'd had to do that and I pray it's the last. We'd been agonizing over it for a while because these were loyal people. Some of them had worked for me for more than 20 years and I knew they would have no place to go."

Norman also revisits his career as well as a memorable week from it, a year ago at Royal Birkdale, when at 53 he threatened to win the British Open and eventually finished third.

In a sidebar, Norman wonders whether PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is using "smoke and mirrors" to keep the tour's even keel in the midst of a severe recession, or is burning through a huge chunk of the tour's cash reserves.

Lawrenson touches all the bases, including the end of daughter Morgan-Leigh's relationship with Sergio Garcia.

-- John Strege