Evert interview creates buzz at Machrihanish

Chris Evert and Greg Norman watch a semifinal match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in September.

MACHRIHANISH, Scotland – I’m not licensed to be a marriage counselor, but what the heck, I’m a man.

So, qualified or not, I can talk like an expert.

I fell in with a group of Kiwis here at Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, and those New Zealanders were buzzing about Chris Evert and her recently-published interview with Australia’s Woman’s Day magazine. The object of her commentary, of course, was Greg Norman, whose reputation is taking a serious hit.

Evert confirmed that Norman, not she, ended their marriage.

“I had no idea it was coming,” she told Woman’s Day. “No idea. It wasn’t talked about. Ever. Never in a million years did I imagine it would end up like this.”

Evert said she felt “hurt, anger and shame,” when Norman walked away after 15 months of marriage. They were divorced in December 2009, 18 months after their $2 million wedding ceremony.

Although Evert didn’t address the subject, the 55-year-old Norman has a new love in his life – 41-year-old Australian interior designer Kirsten Kutner.

The former tennis wunderkind may not have intended to portray herself as witty and critical at the same time, but she issued a brilliant response when asked if she missed Norman.

“I really miss Greg’s parents,” she responded. “The best part about him are his parents.”

Ouch!

Previously Evert had been married to skier Andy Mill, with whom she had three boys, now 18, 16 and 14.

It was Mill who aimed a verbal missile at the two-time Open Championship winner when he said, “Greg Norman at one time was my best friend, and a year and a half ago I would have taken a bullet for this guy.

“I didn’t realize he was the one who was going to pull the trigger,” Mill concluded.

Mill reportedly was paid $7.5 million by Evert, while Norman was said to have forfeited $100 million to his wife of 25 years, Laura Andrassy.

I distinctly remember last summer’s U.S. Senior Open at Crooked Stick Golf Club outside Indianapolis. I was standing directly beside the first tee. Norman, along with Fred Funk, was in the final group on the final day.

After Norman hit his opening tee shot, he walked 50 yards straight down the fairway, then took a 90 degree turn and headed toward the gallery. He had spotted Evert among the crowd, and he laid a big public kiss on her.

I thought he was grandstanding. This sort of affection normally occurs in more private circumstances before the competition begins.

As it turned out, he was all show and no go. Or, as some of my Texas friends might say, all hat and no cattle.

Some would call him the Great Black Shark.

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