With the sports world all a-twitter about his claim that Rory McIlroy intimidated Tiger Woods, Greg Norman took a swing at defending himself via Facebook. Despite Charles Barkley's suggestion that Woods go postal on Norman's butt, The Shark wrote on Saturday that “I stand by my comments" and invited followers to view his statement “in the full context of the article,” which, he said, “provides a more balanced view of my sentiments on this topic.”
The winner of two major championships told FoxSports.com earlier in the week that the budding friendship between McIlroy and Woods indicated that the latter was “really intimidated by” the former.
“When have you ever seen [Woods] intimidated by another player?” Norman said in the interview. “Never.”
While Norman’s original remarks were, indeed, broader than the sentence he apparently believed golf watchers “from Charles Barkley...to John Doe” had taken out of context, his Facebook defense did little to clarify the intimidation comment. (Former NBA star Barkley added to the fireworks on Friday with his own incendiary statements, including urging Woods to “go ballistic” on Norman about his comments and suggesting that the 14-time major winner was not tough enough).
Here’s what The Shark had to say about all that on his Facebook page:
“Got off the plane from Beijing this morning and my Iphone just blew up with emails and voicemails regarding my interview with Robert Lusetich of Fox Sports. It seems that everyone from Charles Barkley (no Charles I was not referencing or comparing Tiger's record to mine) to John Doe has weighed in on my quote regarding intimidation. I stand by my comments and for those that choose to read the full article and not just ‘grasp’ and ‘react’ to one word will notice that the headline and byline were inconsistent with the content of what Robert wrote. When you look at my comments in the full context of the article, you will see that it provides a more balanced view of my sentiments on this topic. Which is, since the PGA Championship Tiger has not made any impact on the weekend in passing Rory for the title. This has not happened in his career prior to this run by Rory. During the PGA Championship broadcast I spoke at length about Tiger and I maintain that no one has swung the club better in the history of the game, especially during the year 2000. At the end of the day, Tiger is a great athlete and a great student of the game and he will continue to win, but we are seeing a transition away from his dominance. Rivalry and parity is great for the game of golf. Unfortunately for Rory [on whom Woods proffered the nickname after Norman’s comments went viral], I think that the trademark for ‘The Intimidator’ is already registered with Dale Earnhardt.”