I thought about this on Thursday as Tiger Woods was rolling through his second round match with Tim Clark.
Through Thursday, Woods had more wins (24) in the Accenture Match Play Championship than anyone else. Hes number one in the world rankings by so wide a margin the race for No. 1 has become a non-story.
But if you could pick one player (not named Tiger, or Phil Mickelson) that could magically run off a seven win season and two majors.. that would change the game, that would change the way we look at the game, that would create a huge buzz and become a figure who would really become a global marketing superstar. who would it be?
Think about it. And for all of you who write me each week saying Tiger gets far too much conversation, coverage and praise, this is a challenge to handpick the person who could rival him in every way.
As for criteria perhaps we think beyond just on-course talent and skill, and add in some other factors like charisma, character, presence and possibly good looks.
For instance think about what would happen if, say, Adam Scott were the pick. Does he have all the attributes to change the game? Is he potentially as gallery-friendly as Phil?
Think about all the PGA TOUR players. Could Charles Howell be the guy? Friendly enough for sure, very talented. What about thinking outside the box and perhaps Matt Kuchar ' who, once upon a time, lit up the camera with a smile that wouldnt quit and had the golf media and fans abuzz when he was just an amateur.
We had this conversation around the office on Thursday and a few interesting names came up.
Chris DiMarco for one. Chris has had success, and for all his talents is appealing to the fans for his workman-like approach. He knows how to smile, he has fire and we think he could be quite marketable. Two majors in a year and seven wins this season would have people talking for sure. But would he change the game? Could he be global?
Camilo Villegas for another. This one really makes my ears perk up. Thirty-eighth on the PGA TOUR money list as a rookie last year. He has all the style you could ask for. Hes young and dashing and the ladies love him. He does that pretzel-like move while reading putts on the green. He has enormous talent. Two majors and seven wins would have people in Colombia going bananas even more than they already do. He would have global appeal and the ability to make zillions in marketing.
David Duval was the third. This name came from our Sprint Post Game producer who pulled out the PGA TOUR media guide and slapped it closed the minute he came across his name. Think about the buzz surrounding a guy who was at the top of the world and fell to the bottom. A guy who (while he wouldnt seek the attention) would get it from media around the world because of his story. People love stories like this. And two majors and seven wins would top any season by Tiger Woods. His personality wont wow anyone. But weve had plenty of boring actors and actresses who dont say much in front of the camera.
Send me yours, but sell me. Because I think the guy Ive come up with might be tough to beat.
Ian Poulter is my guy until further notice. I think were looking for a modern day Lee Trevino. A man with a merry make-up about himself. A cutting edge golfer who isnt afraid to be different. A guy whos his own man. A man with talent. Poulter with two major titles and a seven win season would turn golf upside down. He might not catch Woods atop the World Golf Ranking, but hed rival him for fans and buzz, and beyond England hed be a star all over the world. Golf crazy kids would be rushing to find Poulter Pants and kids would be spiking their hair like never before. American golf fans would be eating fish-n-chips and talking with a Hugh Grant-like accent.
Remember, this isnt about what will happen. Its about what might happen if we allow ourselves to create a star.
One mans thought from my desk amidst another crazy week of match play where no star is safe. So Im ready to create a new one.
I cant wait for yours!
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann