Curtis Hubert And The Hall

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The publics attention in golf swings like a club.
 
Used to be the common mans hero in our sport was named Daly. Suddenly the common mans hero in our sport is named Weekley.
 
If youre looking for golfs next Lil Abner, try and find a guy with the last name of Monthly.
 
And while were on the subject of random thoughts, isnt it odd that Barack Obama, one of the front-running Democrats for the next Presidential race, has a first name that rhymes with Iraq and a last name that rhymes with Osama? Fortunately we live in a country where that strange coincidence wont make a difference to the voters.
 
And speaking of strange ... (wow, what a segue way!), it was amusing to listen to Curtis Strange and Hubert Green during the Wednesday press conference at which they were announced as the newest selections to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
 
The word flinty comes to mind in describing them and their reactions to the questions about their new status.
 
Im not sure if I qualify or not, said Green. But theyre letting me in now, so the hell with everybody else.
 
Asked to describe how hard it was to win consecutive U.S. Opens (1988 and 1989), the pinnacle of Stranges career, Curtis said, Well, it aint easy.
 
Then Curtis said this about Hubert: I know what I remember him for. Tenacity ... an overachiever in a very, very positive way. And quite frankly winning the U.S. Open (1977 at Southern Hills despite the cloud of death threats) under difficult circumstances on Sunday afternoon. I dont think theres many people that could have done that. He was just daring the guy.
 
Then Hubert said this about Curtis: I cant imagine the focus necessary to win two Opens back to back. I won my first, and the next year I missed the cut, wasnt even close. To keep that mental charge for all the things you need to do, you look forward to it and everything; its just way past my comprehension.
 
A lot of people think Green and Strange were contemporaries. They really werent. Green will turn 61 in December. Strange is 52. Greens targets were guys like Nicklaus and Miller and Trevino. Strange spent more time hunting for the scalps of players with names like Watson, Ballesteros and Faldo.
 
But the thing Green and Strange have most in common is their.well flintiness. Neither especially cared what you thought about them. They were out there to win golf tournaments. If you were in the way, that wasnt their problem.

Im not from a real emotional-type family, said Green, an Alabaman, who played with what a lot of people mistook for a smirk on his face. My parents werent real emotional.
 
Green didnt go out of his way to make friends in golf. And when he languished on the Hall of Fame ballot for too long he told me it was because too many voters were treating the process as a popularity contest.
 
Strange, a Virginian, has never suffered fools very gladly either. Watching the 70-and-over Demaret division players competing earlier this week Strange was amused. They still get mad at each other, he said. They get mad at themselves and each other.
 
Soon, perhaps as early as next year, Green and Strange will be joined by one of their own'Lanny Wadkins. Flinty? Rub two Lanny Wadkinses together and you could start a forest fire.
 
Cant wait to hear what Green will say at the induction ceremony later this year. Same for Strange. Same for Wadkins.
 
I like the fact that golf is, at least in theory, a polite game. But I also like the fact that its champions, with apologies to the estimable Mr. Obama, arent always politicians.
 
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