Playing the Name Game


For reasons I'm not sure are entirely clear, I found myself watching the final round of The John Deere Classic and thinking it odd that one of the players in the hunt late in the day was named Short. Actually, Wes Short Jr. Odd name for a golfer. Short.

Odd, too, that the last name of the caddie for one the best short hitters of the last 30 years--Fred Funk--is Long. Mark Long.

Wes Short
Ironically, Wes Short is averaging 301.9 yards off the tee.
Does anybody else think it's strange that the last name of the next president of the USGA will be Driver? Walter Driver.

Or that arguably the most mystical figure in the literature of the game is a chap named Irons? Shivas Irons. Or that arguably the least mystical figure in the game today is named Woods? Tiger Woods. Or that the name of the icon that represents arguably the home of American golf is Putter? Putter Boy.

Oh, Boy. Here we go.

If Jason Allred lives up to his last name at this week's Open Championship, he will win going away.

If the guy who won the last PGA Championship staged in Minnesota plays well at The Old Course, we will most certainly see Rich Beem.

If Tom Byrum finishes in the top 10, I will happily buy a bottle of rum for his brother, Curt, who works for The Golf Channel.

The best putter in America last year, by the way, was Stewart Cink. Which only makes perfect sense. Same way if Steve Spray were still on Tour he would probably rank last in driving accuracy.

The 1995 Open Championship winner, we are told, is a recovering alcoholic. His last name, appropriately enough, is Daly.

Scott Gutschewski's last name sounds, when you say it out loud, like a sneeze. God bless you.

Wasn't Peter Lawrie in Casablanca? Or was that the Maltese Falcon?

Used to be a player on Tour named Porky Oliver. He hated hitting it fat. More recently the guy I would bet on skipping the ball across a water hazard would be Sonny Skinner. Most unfortunate name for a top teacher: Craig Shankland, who ought to be working with Jason Dufner if . . . .

If names meant anything at all in golf.

I wonder if Pete Oakley wears Maui Jim's. Or if Robert Rock knows how to roll his. Or if Graeme Storm packed his waterproofs for St. Andrews.

I wonder what Paula Creamer puts in her coffee. Or if Grace knows how to parallel Park. Or if Kim Saiki has a good shrink. Or if Aree Song has ever met Vijay Singh. Or if Annika has ever met Danica.

I wonder when the headline writers will stop already with puns that have to do with Davis Love or Dottie Pepper or Kris Tschetter.

The LPGA media guide says Karrie's hobbies include reading, basketball and fishing. Webb, apparently, does not surf.

And every time I see the name Russamee Gulyanamitta, in print, I think somebody's keyboard is sticking.

Anyway, I hear a loud ringing. It must be my alarm clock. I must have been dreaming.......

It's time to wake up and root for the story again. The biggest in our sport this week will be Nicklaus in Scotland.

And if you needed me to remind you of that fact, you don't know Jack.
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