SBD/March 28, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Missing Links? PGA Tour Starting To See More Personality From Players

Fowler, an avid dirt biker, is one of many young golfers showing personality
There recently has been a "lot more personality in professional golf" than we have seen for some years, and this could be the "verge of a new era of characters on the PGA Tour, harkening back to the days of Lee Trevino, Sam Snead and Chi Chi Rodriguez," according to John Paul Newport of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The "cocky" Gary Woodland, who won his first PGA Tour tournament earlier this month, has joined four-time winner Dustin Johnson, a "known party hound, in the Tour's swelling ranks of swaggering jocks." Boo Weekley and Bubba Watson are a "fine pair of oddball Southern boys," while Rickie Fowler is known for riding dirt bikes and Anthony Kim is "no stranger to Las Vegas casinos." Also, several European players, including Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, "enjoy nothing so much as busting each other's chops in public forums." These players are a contrast to the "'robopros' golf fans complain about, corporate automatons bred in country clubs with no emotion or sense of fun." However, golfer Kenny Perry said the current Tour is "not even close" to the days of Trevino and Rodriguez. Weekley said, "Back in them old days, when they got done playing, they went straight to the bar in the clubhouse and sat around talking about it. They enjoyed each other's company. You don't see guys doing that anymore." Weekley "sees increased media attention as a major reason the players themselves aren't having as much clubhouse and on-course fun as in the old days." Golfer Jim Furyk: "The scrutiny on people is much more intense these days than it was 30 years ago. But I'm not crying about that. I see it as a good thing. That same scrutiny is what allows us to make such a good living" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/26).

NOT QUITE READY YET? GOLF WORLD MONDAY's Jaime Diaz writes some of the "prospective successors" to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have "a lot to prove as closers" following yesterday's final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Fowler and Watson "shot slapdash 78s and Spencer Levin had a nervous 76." Winner Martin Laird "was as shaky as anyone, playing the first 11 holes five over par." Diaz: "There's no doubt the members of the would-be new order have flashy tools. But real stars are validated only when those tools consistently hold up in the heat" (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 3/28 issue).
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