Norman Couldn’t Walk the Walk
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Blister in the sun!

Greg Norman missed the PGA of Australia’s 100th anniversary gala dinner on Friday night, fueling whispers throughout the fairways at the Australian Open the following day that Norman had snubbed the PGA or that his courtesy car had failed to arrive. But c’mon, Norman deserves more credit than those petty rumors, and he indeed had a reasonable excuse: The Shark had a horrible blister on his left heel, which was so debilitating that he left The Lakes course in bare feet after the second round, according to the AP:

So the thought of putting on dress shoes on to attend the function at Sydney Town Hall was out of the question, even if he is patron of the centenary celebrations.

Organizers got Adam Scott and Robert Allenby to replace him in a panel discussion, and PGA officials apologized to the crowd of 400 on Norman’s behalf.

“If you saw my left heel, I have a real bad blister there, all raw and no skin on it,” Norman said after his third-round 73 at the Australian Open on Saturday. “I don’t want to even look at it when I walk into the locker room now.

“It’s just one of those things. I haven’t been playing much golf, and it was only the second round I’ve walked since December. I paid the price.”

With Norman being the golfing icon that he is in Australia, there’s nothing that he does, or doesn’t, do, that fails to make headlines. He smiled and shook his head when asked about the courtesy car rumor.

“No, that’s not true,” Norman said. “I couldn’t walk, I walked out of here in bare feet last night. I haven’t had that happen in my career before when you can’t put a pair of shoes on. I feel sorry I couldn’t be there.

“It’s the first one I’ve missed in 30 years, so I’m sure they understood,” Norman said. “I think I’ve done my obligations.”

Fair enough, but really, blisters? Golfers are such tough specimens. Time to get more comfortable shoes, I suppose.

I bet (at least I hope, but you never know) Norman has never endured blisters from high heels, where several places are rubbed raw and bleeding. I, along with just about every woman in Manhattan, have, but unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of walking around in the office in bare feet or skipping that important business dinner. Instead, we tape up the blisters (usually with band-aids — they make special ones for blisters, FYI), wince in pain when sticking the wounded feet back in those pretty, pinching shoes and suck it up. (Or we improvise and find a different pair of shoes that are more comfortable.) Just saying!

(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)