Golfing great Greg Norman bunkered in Australia
Famously egalitarian Australians have turned on local hero Greg Norman after reporters sent to the Bahamas to cover his wedding to former top tennis player Chris Evert complained of being roughed up by security guards in the Caribbean paradise, dpa reported.
The Sunday papers were full of diatribes against Norman for pandering to journalists when it suited him but hiring heavies to keep them at bay when it didn't.
"You could have won the world over with a little courtesy, manners, patience and humour," wrote influential columnist Gary Linnell in the Daily Telegraph. "But instead you used goons and an iron fist."
Norman and Evert, both 53, are reported to have spent millions of dollars on this weekend's Nassau nuptials. They had expected to swap vows at a Paradise Island sunset ceremony Saturday on a beach but changed plans when a media contingent was spotted taking up position within camera shot of the private hotel frontage.
The invited guests included former US president Bill Clinton and tennis ace Martina Navratilova. Notable absentees are likely to be Andy Mill, Evert's former husband, and Norman's ex-wife, Laura Andrassy.
The couples had been very close friends until June 2006 when Norman shocked the world by filed for divorce from Andrassy, a former air steward, after 25 years of marriage.
It was a rancorous split with for both Norman and Evert.
It is not the first time Norman has stood accused of bad form. He was scorned for accepting the honour of carrying the Olympic torch across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2000 when he hadn't lived in Australia for 30 years.
Linnell was the most cutting of the columnists who got stuck into the former world No. 1 and longtime Florida resident.
"Greg Norman's dignity and class disappeared into the treacherous waters of the Bahamas in the same manner many of his golf shots once did when he was under pressure in a major," the tart columnist wrote.