Opinion: Greg Norman and Chris Evert were never going to be harmonious

Caroline Frost
October 04, 2009 8:58PM

It should have all worked out so wonderfully. Not since Posh and Becks turned up on the red carpet in matching brown leather did two stars seem so attuned in every way -- the same gleaming white teeth, honeyed sports-field skins, bleached locks and mid-life vigour.

Greg Norman and Chris Evert resembled nothing so much as a pair of prize-winning pedigree hounds, brimming with confidence, jewels and trophies as befits their combined half-century of sporting success, and revelling in their belated pleasure in each other.

But alas, this sparkling union has followed the path of many a high-profile marriage and come crashing down, only 15 months after they made their vows amid the palms and pools of a $2 million Bahamas ceremony.

As my mother always says, the bigger the wedding, the quicker the divorce.

That was a paltry sum compared with what they had to shell out to the partners they left behind. While Evert got away with paying a cool $8 million to her husband of 18 years, Andy Mill, Norman got himself in an untidy tangle with his wife of almost three decades, Laura Andrassy, to the tune of $128 million.

While Andrassy ranted about having her credit cards snipped and the locks to her house changed, Mill vented his fury over the betrayal by his friend Norman, the man he'd have laid down his life for.

But the message from the Evert-Norman camp, both in body language and a series of smug interviews, was that theirs was a once-in-a-lifetime passion that could not be resisted, their indignant exes sad but awkward obstacles to their future life together.

Evert described the joys of an extended family, Norman credited his new wife for his return to golfing form and claimed that Evert alone understood him, the implication being his former wife never had.

He described the romance of taking Evert her coffee in the morning -- oh, the joy of simple pleasures on their palatial Florida lilypad. This, then, was a mature marriage, mistakes consigned to the past, the future theirs for the taking; Norman improving his backhand under his wife's expert eye, Evert happily caddying her way around the world's best golf courses. Happy years and years ahead of matching baseball caps.

But, as we've seen time and time again, the odds of such a star-filled union lasting are always unfavourable. The drive, ambition, self-absorption and huge ego behind sporting success such as theirs are not ingredients for a harmonious union.

It must be hard enough with just one such character sitting at the kitchen table. Imagine life with two! Yes, Evert may well understand how her husband's mind works, in fact all too well, but it doesn't mean she can live with it, or vice-versa.

So, another fairytale cracks in two. The only person happier than Greg Norman's accountant this week is surely his ex-wife, Laura Andrassy, but so far she's contented herself with beautiful understatement.

Of the star-struck marriage that fell to earth, she says only that we didn't have high hopes for it. What's that noise in the background? Oh yes, a champagne cork popping.

Their future was meant to be happy years ahead of matching baseball caps, but it wasn't meant to be.

Picture: Jay Town