Atonement 2: Greg and Tim

img10669693.jpgWhen they say these international golf team competitions bring the world together, they aren't kidding. Just look what happened Tuesday in Palm Beach. Steve Elling analyzes the Finchem-Norman fence mending...

For the first time in years, their situation was mutually beneficial. Norman, who rarely plays in tournaments anymore, has transitioned nicely into the corporate game. He's the head of equipment maker MacGregor, has established a reputation as a course architect and forged his own line of clothing and table wine. By merely writing the aforementioned sentence, we have helped ensure that Norman will profit by virtue of the exposure the cup captaincy will serve to increase.

As a captain of industry already, he said he has come to appreciate the dissenting viewpoint.

"I think it's healthy in a lot of ways," the Shark said. "I don't want everybody to be a yes man or a bobblehead. You've got to be able to sit there and express your differences."
Ah, Jack Welch would be proud of that answer. 
Well, they got the "sitting there" part accomplished Tuesday, though neither looked particularly comfy. You can bet the world tour was not broached.
Finchem insisted that the tour has dealt with Norman for years on a variety of issues, always on a professional basis. If there's a rift, it's nothing that has permanently stained the relationship.

"Here's the reality," Finchem said. "They don't see that Greg designed three different golf courses we're playing tournaments on, he chairs the environmental institute that we're very supportive of, that he's one of our host (staging) organizations on the tour -- people don't see all that.

No, not when you two get in yelling matches and Greg seems to keep missing Champions Tour events. 
"The fact that, as he said, he's been critical a few times in the past, and I don't have a problem with that. Some of the criticism is justified. I think it's all overblown."

Perhaps so, but partly because whenever the world tour issue is broached, Norman radiates heat like Skylab, right before it crashed into Australia.

"I have also complimented Tim over the years for what he has done for the game of golf, the stimulus he has done with prize money," Norman said. "It's not like I am anti-everything he has done. It's just that there have been things I have been very vocal about."

Not anti-everything! Just some of his most important initiatives.