Canadian golf legend Norman dies aged 75
Moe Norman, the eccentric Canadian golf star whose amazingly accurate swing dazzled pros and amateurs alike for many years, died Saturday. He was 75.
The two-time Canadian Amateur champion died of heart failure in a Kitchener hospital, Royal Canadian Golf Association spokesman Victor Cui said. Norman had battled heart problems since having a heart attack two years ago.
Inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1995, Norman won 13 Canadian Tour titles and played for Canada in the 1971 World Cup. He won the Canadian Senior PGA title seven times, the most recent coming in 1987.
Norman competed in two Masters as an amateur and played briefly on the PGA tour, where his best finish was a fourth-place finish in the 1959 Greater New Orleans Open.
Renowned for his unusual swing and accuracy, Norman was described by Lee Trevino as a "genius when it comes to playing the game of golf."
Known for his eccentricities, Norman was often seen in a mismatched outfit, and played extremely fast, sometimes never slowing to line up his putts.
"One of my all-time favorites. He was fantastic," said LPGA Tour player Nancy Harvey of Canada. "He was a wonderful guy, the greatest ball-striker that I've ever seen hit the ball. Tremendously talented, very eccentric.
"He did Natural Golf system -- very short backswing and very short follow-through. He never took a lesson in his life. He was totally natural."
In 1992, Norman came to the attention of Jack Kuykendall, who had developed what he considered to be the ideal golf swing -- an exact copy of Norman's technique. Kuykendall had founded the company Natural Golf and hired Norman to demonstrate the method.
In February 1995, Wally Uihlein, president of Titleist and FootJoy Worldwide, announced that it would pay Norman $5,000 a month for the rest of his life -- simply for being himself.
"Golf won't be the same here in this country," Canadian LPGA Tour star Lorie Kane said.
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