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Like their commercial says, “these guys ARE good” but generally speaking I couldn’t pick out a PGA Tour player if I was standing in the pro shop at TPC Sawgrass during the Players Championship!  Except for the four majors, I don’t even bother to watch unless a “name” player is making a run.  Already four tournaments into the current season, I just can’t get keyed-up about tuning in for Brandt Snedeker, Mark Wilson, or Harrison Frazar (all top current Tour players) battling it out.  They all seem to look the same, talk the same, and swing the same to me.  Where has the all the charisma and flamboyance gone?

 

When are we going to see the next generation of Lee Trevinos, Fuzzy Zoellers, Freddie Couples’, Seve Ballesteros’, Johnny Millers, Chi Chi Rodriguezes, Raymond Floyds and Arnold Palmers?  Many of the “name” PGA Tour players of today like Zach Johnson, Steve Stricker, David Toms, Justin Leonard, Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, and Hunter Mahan are certainly great guys, just painfully dull and robotic.  Thank God for a Bubba Watson, Boo Weekley, Rickie Fowler, and Camilo Villegas to liven things up and add some flair to the fairways!

 

TV ratings skyrocket whenever Tiger, Phil, or John Daly plays their way to the top of the leader board.  Unfortunately, Woods’ game hasn’t yet returned (noticed I said “yet”), and Mickelson’s game has essentially been in hibernation since he won the Shell Houston Open last April.  At this point in their careers, they’re pretty much focusing on the majors anyway.  Fan favorite Daly made only six cuts last year, is currently ranked 309th in the world, and hasn’t yet met a woman he doesn’t end up marrying.  Consequently, the “new” PGA Tour has become nothing but a lackluster group of millionaires!

 

However, the last two weeks have managed to provide the kind of drama usually found only during the Sunday back nine at Augusta.  Second-year PGA Tour player, Kyle Stanley (out of Clemson), has rocked the golf world but I’ve NEVER heard of this dude!  The 24-year old managed to follow his total collapse at Torrey Pines (staggering home with a triple bogey on the last hole to blow his 71-hole lead and eventually lose on the second playoff hole) by winning the Phoenix Open the very next week overcoming an 8-shot deficit, firing a bogey-free 65 in the final round.  I’ll admit this IS great stuff!  Interestingly too, the top 10 finishers in Phoenix included five of the top 50 ranked players in the world…. I checked pgatour.com!  Guess I need to get to know these new guys and hope they eventually develop a personality.

 

The Tour’s next stop is at glorious Pebble Beach Golf Links, and Tiger Woods will be making his 2012 PGA Tour debut there.  I’m sure most of the BIG names will be there as well.  The blimp shots will be spectacular, the anticipation of Tiger re-capturing his brilliance will be soaring, and you can bet I’ll turn on the TV for this one!

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