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Nicknames on the comeback trail

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Are nicknames making a comeback in golf?

With “Bubba” Watson outplaying “Lefty” Mickelson and “Johnny” Vegas to win the Farmers Insurance Open Sunday, nicknames seem fashionable again. The Watson win came a week after Vegas won the Bob Hope Classic.

Who can keep the nickname streak going this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open? Bubba, Lefty and Johnny are all in the field again. So is Angel “The Duck” Cabrera, Freddy “Boom Boom” Couples, Thomas “Boo” Weekley and Tim “Lumpy” Herron.

Last weekend’s run conjures memories of some of the game’s great nicknames: The Squire (Gene Sarazen), the Silver Scot (Tommy Armour), Little Poison (Paul Runyan), Tommy “Thunder” Bolt, Champagne Tony (Tony Lema), The Merry Mex (Lee Trevino) and Big Mama (JoAnne Carner). Ben Hogan actually had two nicknames. He was “The Hawk” in the United States and the “Wee Ice Mon” overseas. And, of course, there’s The Golden Bear, The King and the Great White Shark.