Danger Will MacKenzie


Appropriately, the name of the show was Lost in Space.

It had its television run in the 60s. And it became part of the pop culture mostly because of the robot character who warned one of the series protagonists, Will Robinson, when trouble approached.

Danger, Will Robinson.

Now golf has its very own space cadet.

Will MacKenzie finished fourth at the Merecedes-Benz Championship on Maui last week. And he was at it again this week, shooting a 65 in the first round of the Sony Open before racing out to a quick lead Friday.

The only danger at the moment is that Will MacKenzie will cool off. Hes a character in the best sense. In golf, different is almost always good.

And the 32-year-old MacKenzie is different. Hes also smart enough to know how to play along with a gag.

Asked in the press room Thursday where he was staying, MacKenzie replied, On the beach.

Good answer, one reporter said.

In a hammock, MacKenzie said. 'Hammock 29.

Between two palm trees or three?

Two, he said.

One of yours?

No, he said. Im renting one. Its like three bucks a night.

Actually MacKenzie made $540,000 last year for winning the Reno-Tahoe Open. Add on the quarter of a million (give or take a few thousand) he picked up at Kapalua last week, and MacKenzie could almost afford a beachfront condo in Hawaii.

Will MacKenzie is a breath of fresh, salt air.

He sounds like Sean Penns Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. And right now is playing golf more like Matt Damons Rannulph Junuh (on a good day) in The Legend of Bagger Vance.

Friday he started his round in Hawaii with four straight threes.

Now if we can just get Will Smith on Will MacKenzies bag at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am we WILL have the best karma in golf since Jack Nicklaus made magic with No. 1 son caddying Sunday at Augusta in 1986.

All I remember right now is hitting 7-iron into 18, MacKenzie said, moments after Thursdays round. Im pretty bummed about that. I really wanted to get that one last birdie in. But over-all its a great start.

And he laughed.

Im not going to commit sui or anything if I dont finish a tournament or something this year, he added.

Sui is the word that actually showed up in the transcript of his post-round interview. Normally, you would think that was a typo. But then MacKenzie was off and talking about the bad tooth that almost got him last week.

I was in that chair getting ready to be geared up for about two hours of gnarly work, and I was like, this is going to be great. I was just shaking my head in Wailuku going: Get it over, Bro. Get it over so I can fly and rehab this for a day so I can play this week.

Speaking of flying, anybody out there remember Mark The Bird Fidrych?

Its early, but the sporting world will beat a path to MacKenzies hammock if he keeps up this kind of run. Golf Channel broadcasts already have provided several sneak previews.

The important thing is that MacKenzie must not change.

Or to put it another way, with apologies to Paul McCartney:

Hey dude, dont make it bad.

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