MCI Classic - Heritage of Golf
MCI Classic - Heritage of Golf
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Event Features
Faldo falters once again
Norman enters MCI not looking back at Masters

Once again, Greg Norman comes to the MCI Classic having failed to win the Masters. This time, however, the Australian isn't second-guessing his game and said Wednesday he looks forward to playing in the seaside breezes at Harbour Town.

"There is not too much I did wrong on Sunday" at Augusta National, Norman said. "I thought my whole approach to the tournament and the way I played is something I want to keep going for a long, long time."

Three years ago, the MCI marked the start of the rest of Norman's golf life after he squandered a six-stroke lead to lose the Masters. He was still trying to find his focus a week later and acknowledged it was work to get around the Harbour Town layout. Being hassled by a drunken fan that Saturday didn't help, and he finished the MCI 13 strokes back.

This time he comes to Hilton Head after finishing third to Jose Maria Olazabal at Augusta. But on Sunday, he gave himself a chance to win with an eagle on the par-5 13th before Olazabal answered with a birdie.

Norman said he had been too busy to watch videotape of his Masters play and had not replayed it in his mind.

"I didn't see any reason to. I know I gave 110 percent," Norman said.

Neither Olazabal nor top-ranked David Duval are here this week. Davis Love III, who finished second at Augusta, is back to defend his MCI title on the 6,916-yard, par-71 Harbour Town Golf Links. Love is the tournament's only four-time winner.

Tiger Woods also is here, for the first time, after what he called "a very frustrating week on the greens" at Augusta. Dozens of fans watched him warm up on the putting green and hundreds crowded around the 10th tee and lined the fairway to watch Woods tee off in Wednesday's pro-am.

Tournament director Steve Wilmot credited Woods' appearance for the first sellout in the tournament's 31-year history. Wilmot, who called in extra security after Woods said last week he would come to Harbour Town, said the gallery will be limited to 25,000 people.

Harbour Town doesn't lend itself to Woods' long drives.

"He's such a competitor. I think he wanted to show that `I can play here and I can play anywhere,"' Wilmot said. "We'll see how he does. And he might not pull his driver out."

Woods did pull out his driver on all three of Harbour Town's par-5s on Wednesday, but noted the wind was in his face and wasn't sure whether he would do so in the tournament.

Woods, who has played a couple of other courses in the area, said he has always wanted to play at Harbour Town, where he posted a 69 in the pro-am.

"I've always geared myself up so much for the majors that I felt pretty tired by the end of it," he said. "This year I have done a pretty good job of scheduling, I played early and then I've taken some time off. And in my off time, I really haven't done much around golf."

Woods said the course "was about what I expected to see -- very tight fairways and the greens were less undulating than I thought they would be."

But he said the greens were so small "there is not a whole lot of room for undulations."

The gallery also got to see new South Carolina football coach Lou Holtz in a foursome that included Love and Gov. Jim Hodges. "I'm 62 years of age," Holtz joked. "I'm looking for the senior tees."

The coach said he had about 20 years' golfing experience, but "I just hope I won't hurt somebody today."


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