PGA Tour Play Creating New Interest
Maybe it’s just all the rotten weather we’ve been having this winter, but I think it’s something else. For the first time in recent years, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the PGA Tour on television.
So what’s going on? What’s different? Why, instead of falling asleep before the leaders get to the back nine, am I paying attention to the screen?
Frankly, I think it’s the players. This is the most exciting group of young men I’ve seen on the course since John Daly is no longer big enough to make up a foursome on his own.
The thing is this group of would-be stars is more than just robotic golfers. There’s personality everywhere. There’s charisma. There’s drama and a little macho attitude.
The personality is evident, with some players even allowing the networks to wire them with microphones so we can hear them talking things over with their caddies or carrying on conversations with fellow golfers as they walk to their balls.
There’s charisma, with golfers actually allowing us to get a glimpse of their inner selves and sharing their hopes and anxieties.
There’s drama, with Tiger trying desperately to regain some of the magic that once made him the best golfer who ever lived, and waiting to see if some viewer is gong to call in with another rules violation to get someone DQ’d.
There’s the macho, with guys such as Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Johnny Vegas just knocking the cover off the ball.
And there are the veterans such as Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Davis Love III still creating thrills.
If you’re looking for young blood, there’s the, well, I guess you could call him colorful Rickie Fowler. This kid has a golf bag full of talent, charisma, drama and macho. If he would just get rid of that bucket he wears for a cap, I might even become a fan.
Even so, he’s fun to watch and you certainly have no trouble picking him out of the crowd. The way he dresses must make old Doug Sanders envious.
I love watching Dustin and Bubba ripping those drives off the tees and hitting pitching wedges for their second shots on par-5s. Neither of these guys has any idea of what lay-up means.
The emergence of Johnny Vegas is almost too good to be true. Is this kid for real? Give me a pairing of Johnny, Dustin and Bubba at Augusta National and I won’t leave the recliner until they’ve putted out on the 18th hole.
As for Phil the Thrill, he’s finally won me over. The class and dignity of the man as he deals with all the trauma involving his wife, his mother and his arthritis is second to none I’ve witnessed on the Tour. Frankly, I hope he’s in the hunt every week.
Then there’s Big John, as in the former heavyweight Daly. If you can get past those crazy pants he’s wearing, you’ll notice that John is making some noise other than snoring in parking lots these days.
Daly has always been exciting to watch play, but often the excitement came from one of his infamous meltdowns. I mean, the guy would be shooting under-par golf, hit one bad shot and just go haywire. As a result, he blew good rounds, blew making cuts and just generally blew off a lot of great opportunities on and off the course.
Over the latter part of last season and the early stages of this one, Daly seems to be on a more even keel. Let’s hope he keeps the new attitude because he’s going to be facing a Champions Tour career before too much longer.
And then there’s Tiger. The verdict is still out on whether he can regain the pre-2009 Thanksgiving form that made him the best player in the world.
Right now, he’s just an average player. I’m thinking that what this guy needs is a sit-down with his father, the late Earl Woods. Earl was the driving force behind Tiger’s greatness, and his untimely death left a void that Butch Harmon, Hank Haney and Sean Foley have not been able to fill.
Meanwhile, I’m going to tune in to the Golf Channel watch me some golf.
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