Most Famous Golfers at the AT&T
I wanted to figure out, say, the five most famous golfers at this week's AT&T National, the five guys with the highest Q ratings, the five guys who would attract the biggest galleries. The three names I had heard were Jim Furyk, Rocco Mediate and Fred Couples.
And after that? Mass confusion. Trevor Immelman? Mike Weir? K.J. Choi? Rich Beem? Jesper Parnevik? Corey Pavin? Davis Love III? If you had to pick a golfer to follow for 18 this week, would it be one of those chaps? Someone else? The beer man? The cigar vendor?
Anyhow, I asked some golfers for help with this question.
"Me, me, me, me," said Brian Davis with a laugh. "Do you know what, I haven't seen the field," he added. Turns out he was a late late addition, since his newborn daughter had suffered some serious health problems last week and he wasn't even sure if he'd attend.
"Is Garcia playing this week?" asked John Senden, futilely. "Who's here?....Is Kenny Perry playing?" Nope again.
["Where do you live?" some young kids asked Senden. "In a house," he said.]
"To tell you the truth, I haven't even looked at the field," Nick Watney said. "I know who's not here; I know Tiger's not here, Phil's not here and Vijay's not here."
"I don't know if Mickelson's playing, or Ernie Els?" suggested Jonathan Byrd. No and no. "I'm sure Vijay's playing, he usually plays every week." Not this week. "John Daly, I'm not sure if he got a sponsor's exemption?" Byrd said later. I wish. "I can just keep naming names, if you want," he finally said.
"I don't know who's playing," said Steve Flesch, making him at least the fourth person to give me that answer. "You never look at who's playing. We're all independent contractors, we only worry about ourselves. The only person who matters to me this week is me....But believe me, we all know when Tiger's here, we all know that."
I asked Flesch whether he would attract a nice gallery; "no," he said immediately. "Nobody follows a left-hander from Kentucky."
And yeah, that was pretty much all I needed to decide to follow around Flesch for his opening round. I'm predicting great things. After all, Jared Lorenzen was a left-hander from Kentucky, and he was plenty entertaining. And more famous than half the field at this tournament.
July 3, 2008; 11:44 AM ET
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