Nantz on Fox-Shark Split: "I am curious."

SI's Richard Deitsch talked to Jim Nantz about many topics, but left out this bit on the Greg Norman-Fox Sports breakup. However, Deitsch posted it in a notes piece.

Nantz explains how good Norman was in the booth whenever he'd finish after a round, making the parting a surprise to him.

So we don’t know what happened there. I am curious. It takes time for people to be together in any sport on the air, to be able to establish continuity and chemistry. When I interview coaches and players, sometimes you can see who is really gifted at rolling out a sound bite and saying it in a way that has never been heard before—interesting ways in making you think. I worked a lot with Greg over the years and I don’t know why they parted ways. I always had a lot of respect for what he offered when he came to his tower.

“I wish Fox well,” Nantz continued. “Unlike the NFL where everyone is broadcasting at the same time during the regular season, the golf season you hand it off. Yes, we [at CBS] have it for the most weeks but we truly want everyone to do well because when it is your week, you are in charge of trying to make the game sound interesting and advance the sport and document it. It is not the competitive craziness that people want to talk about it. I watch other people call golf events and cheer them on and text them and congratulate them when they do good work, which is all the time. It is a different vibe than you might think.”

Shark Speaks: Fox Is Now In "Tough Position" Without Me

Alan Bastable gets Greg Norman on the line to discuss his firing as Fox Sports' lead golf analyst.

Norman says Fox will struggle without him and the great chemistry he helped build.

"I think Joe Buck is actually now in a tough position, because we became great friends and I believe we had a great foundation," Norman said. "The whole team really had a good chemistry, so I think it will be a challenge to recreate the formula. I am certain Fox has someone in mind already."

Shark And Fox: Who Couldn't Have Seen It Coming?

Greg Norman put on a shirt for a change and Instagrammed some nonsense about business and life in reaction to getting fired by Fox Sports after just one year. The text, with hashtag included:

#MondayMorningMotivator "Over the years, I’ve learned that no business can stand still. There are always changes in ownership and personnel, and invariably challenges with keeping your product or service relevant and in-demand. The reality is that businesses change, they evolve. We are going to keep moving – just like a shark.”

Get it, like a Shark. Get it? Clever!

That's about what you'd expect of someone who calls himself the Living Brand, claims to call Presidents to console them, says he won the Tournament of Life and, in numerous other ways over the last few years has shown himself to be emphatically detached from reality.

The signs, even pre-Fox, did not stop Fox's David Hill from apparently committing to the Shark before hiring a producer, a decision that saddled Fox Sports' foray into golf with more than just a commentator who only sounded engaged when talking about himself or a fellow Aussie. By all insider accounts, Norman had a say in who was hired and who wasn't, effectively tying producer Mark Loomis' hands in year one of a twelve...twelve...year deal.

Of course it's not Norman's fault that the technical side of the broadcast had issues or that some of his fellow announcers were as flat as he was. But ultimately, the signs were all there that this was a bad hire and Fox deserves credit for not prolonging the agony. Oh sure, Norman may have made it easy by reportedly mailing it in on his own tournament this fall, after mailing in the first five events he worked for Fox in year one of the twelve...twelve year deal.

Still, the signs are enjoyable to recall.

There's his proclivity to post shirtless photos of himself.

Perhaps when he said he never watched golf, this was a sign he might not exactly have a knowledge of what makes a good commentator or who the heck is playing each week.

Because to be honest with you, I never watch golf. I really didn’t because I thought it was kind of boring. And the presentation was boring. So now that we have Fox on board, we are…I am really looking forward to it and I know golf is really excited about it."

And when he declared himself fair and balanced, he left out the part about being determined to talk about himself as the defining characteristic of his announce philosophy.

“My objective is not to be criticizing golfers. My objective is to be fair and balanced. If I see something that I feel is very pertinent to the situation, I will explain that view to the audience, and I want it to be very fan-friendly and informative.

When it was announced he would be conjoined with Joe Buck, it couldn't have been a good sign that they'd never met.

Or maybe it was just the fist bump at Pinehurst that should have been our warning.

Press Release: Fox & Shark "Part Ways"

Fox Sports makes the parting with Greg Norman official, but rest assured, they will continue to broadcast the Shark Shootout final round. Can't wait for those in-booth visits from the Living Brand.

For Immediate Release:

FOX Sports announces that they will be making a change to their commentary team, and Greg Norman will not return to the network’s USGA Championships coverage in 2016.  The announcement was made today by John Entz, President of Production & Executive Producer, FOX Sports.
 
Both parties have agreed to an amicable separation and will continue to work together to broadcast the Franklin Templeton Shootout, which remains an important part of FOX Sports’ golf platform.
 
“After careful consideration, we have decided to make this change to our USGA Championships coverage,” said John Entz. “We want to thank Greg for his contributions last year, and wish him success in all his current and future endeavors.”
 
“I put a lot into my role this past year and really enjoyed the time I spent with the commentary team,” said Norman. “I have a long history with FOX and wish them well on their journey showcasing USGA Championships. I also want to thank David Hill (former Head of FOX Sports) and the USGA for believing in me and instilling their vote of confidence in me from the outset.”

Shirtless Shark's Hedge Fund Makes Push For Tablet Maker

WSJ’s Stephanie Gleason reports on Greg Norman’s hedge fund ("The Great White Shark") making a push to buy a bankrupt manufacturer of Nabi children’s tablet.

I know what you’re thinking…how did living icon of his own brand come up with that clever name? Or…Greg Norman has a hedge fund?

Anyway, WSJ says a bidding war is in order..

The tablet maker selected the fund, an investment arm of Mr. Norman’s sprawling Great White Shark Enterprises, lead bidder for its business at a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. The fund has also agreed to finance Fuhu’s bankruptcy case with a bankruptcy financing package.

The entry of Mr. Norman’s fund sets the stage for a bidding war over Fuhu, whose lawyers spent most of Wednesday in court fighting for the right to conduct an auction at all.

To prep for his hedge fund’s battle, Shirtless Shark made a few year-end Instagram posts (here and here) doing what he loves most: posing shirtless.

Oh, and he prepped by reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. Or pretending to read it. Very 2008 of you, Shirtless Shark!

OMG - I cannot think of the last time I did this!!

A photo posted by Greg Norman (@shark_gregnorman) on Dec 30, 2015 at 12:02pm PST

 

GMac Is Back! Credits Greg Norman With Key Tip

After a two-year career struggle and self-doubt, Graeme McDowell got back into the winner's circle by claiming the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. McDowell beat Russell Knox and Jason Bohn in a sudden death playoff, then discussed his confidence bout with Golf Channel's Phil Blackmar after the win.

Even better was his revelation that Chinese National Golf Team advisory coach Greg Norman influenced GMac's weekend play after a text message from the Shark, who has gone an amazing two weeks without Instagramming a shirtless photo of himself.

Brian Wacker
reports:

“Funny anecdote for you,” McDowell said. “I got a text message lesson from Greg Norman on Saturday night and he said he watched some of the coverage and he thought I looked a little short and a little quick. He said complete my backswing and be a bit more relaxed at address.”

The two went back-and-forth with text messages, McDowell gave his backswing extra attention Sunday and Monday, and voila.

Here's the voila:

Shirtless Shark Keeps His Shirtless Pic Streak Alive!

I'm starting to wonder if Greg Norman has shoulder surgeries just to Instagram more shirtless shots...but then I looked back at many of his recent posts to see that shirtlessness was losing steam for the Living Brand...this month.

But either way, great to see he's back at work in his favorite state, half-naked.

Back to work. At home!!

A photo posted by Greg Norman (@shark_gregnorman) on Oct 28, 2015 at 7:37am PDT

 

That said, nothing will quite live up to the Living Brand's recent lost-at-sea look where he solicited opinions on his white beard. The input was particularly enjoyable, especially the comment about matching it with his hair color was very shrewd, I must say. 

The big question is.....do I keep the beard or????

A photo posted by Greg Norman (@shark_gregnorman) on Oct 5, 2015 at 6:21pm PDT

 

 

Artist & Scientist: DeChambeau Looks To Make US Am History

Derek Bard faces Bryson DeChambeau in Sunday's U.S. Amateur final at Olympia Fields, but all eyes will be on the SMU senior DeChambeau.

Not only are all of his club shafts the same length, but throw in the Hogan cap, the intensity, the painful slowness and the electric game, and you have the makings of a future star.

Jeff Babineau at Golfweek.com writes:

Watching DeChambeau this week has been like seeing the electronic rabbit make its way around the inside rail at the greyhound track. He stays tantalizingly close and at times appears catchable, then shows a different gear than the rest and pulls away.

Ryan Lavner wrote before Saturday's play about Bryson's approach, noting the weird mix of artistry and science to DeChambeau's game.

No, he doesn’t intimidate with big drives, flashy iron play or sublime putting. But his methodical approach to the game and hole-to-hole consistency can exasperate opponents and force them into mistakes.

Lavner also notes that DeChambeau has a chance to join Nicklaus, Woods, Mickelson and Moore as the only winners of the NCAA individual title and the U.S. Amateur in the same year.

DeChambeau, a 21-year-old senior at SMU, could join Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore as the only players to win the NCAA Championship and U.S. Amateur in the same year.

Dave Shedloski sets up the final with this "tale of the tape" of the finalists. Jessica Marksbury interviews them after their Saturday wins (and likely Masters berths).

And if you were still unsure about Bryson being a bit different, John Strege found this tweet confirming this is one different young man. He signs his name backwards, if he feels like it.

Here is Tracy Wilcox's Golfweek.com photo gallery from Saturday. It wins 7&6 over the USGA's gallery that has way too many photos of rules officials, lameduck presidents and other non-competitors.

Final day coverage is on Fox from 3-6 ET. Not only should the golf be fun, but Greg Norman's struggle to act interested in golfers other than himself will surely prove exciting!

Shark To Gary Player: I'll Take That Lie Detector Test

In the wake of Gary Player's anti-Chambers Bay, anti-USGA golf ball rant last Saturday in which he inferred that the Fox announcers touting the course couldn't pass a lie detector test, The Great White Shark has finally seen the Player comments (quick on the hip take our Shark is) and he says he'd be happy to take a lie detector test.

Great to know Norman is a big fan of Robert Trent Jones' work, even if he thinks it's heather-light.

The rebuttal Tweet...about four days too late:

Greg Norman Is Still Kinda Strange On Instagram

I can barely handle one social media platform, so kudos to Greg Norman for maintaining a presence across all of the majors.

Still, there is a lack of normalcy to the face of Fox Sports on Instagram where the Shark posted pieces of his bronze. The one that prompted him to post this seagull-inspired photo a while back, before sharing his back hair with us not long after.

His latest Instagram image was not well received by fans. One thought the sculpture was of Chris Farley, a few more noted the incessant narcissism and several more defended the Shark.