Hooks and Cuts on Golfs Winding Trail

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GRAND BLANC, Mich. -- Large is in these days on the PGA Tour. Kenny Perry, Craig Stadler and Peter Jacobsen all stuffed the idea that barbells are more important than dinner bells.
 
I like Guy Boros to win the Masters.

Perry's exhausted, playing his fourth straight. But a good buddy always told him that if you're going to work, you might as well bring some money home.
 
Strange, I'm workin' too, but I keep coming back from my road trips flat tapped.

Grant Waite can't putt. His peers tell me he's one of the best swingers and strikers in the game, with a perfect build to go with perfect mechanics. Waite was candid in his assessment. 'It's sad,' he told me.
 
Headline in the Detroit News blared, 'Slumping Tiger hunts his game's missing link.'

Thomas Levet cracked, 'If he's slumping and he's leading the money list, then the rest of us must really be digging out of a hole.'

Woods put on a revealing clinic Tuesday night for an appreciative crowd. He let on that growing up mom was the boss, dad the softie. Tiger explained that his mother's Buddhist philosophies and disciplined Asian ways produced in her only son the calm and tranquil demeanor that serves him so well when the pressure rises.

Tiger learned to bounce the ball on his club during long waits at the par-3 course he played as a kid. He and his buddies started with a hacky sack. He graduated to a golf ball and eventually a thousand bounces. 'I had way too much time on my hands,' he joked, and the crowd roared.

Someone asked him to name the best shot he ever hit. He didn't hesitate. 'Three-iron out of the bunker on the 18th at last year's PGA,' he said. Round 2, ball below his feet, 202 yards with a 30 mile-an-hour crosswind and several trees to negotiate. Woods belted a big hook to six feet, made birdie and they're still talkin' about it.

Asked to explain Jacobsen and Stadler winning, Rocco Mediate said, 'You never forget.'

Mark O'Meara and Scott McCarron had dinner with Ben Curtis Wednesday before Round 1 of the British Open. The '98 champ advised the rookie to just go out and enjoy the experience.

Good advice.

Ben's regular caddie is back on his bag this week. Danny Sahl was a college teammate at Kent State, but Andy Sutton got the call for the British. 'He knew links golf,' Sahl told me. 'It was the right call.' Sahl said he hasn't for a second played the 'What If' game. Modesty and good sense abound in the Ben Curtis camp.

Perry wonders if change is good. On David Duval, he offered this: 'They compared his swing when he won the Hope and shot the 59 and they put his swing up then versus now and did a side-to-side view. He's changed his swing dramatically. He's changed his grip, he's changed his posture and his body build.'

He went on to say, 'I've had the kind of swing you don't mess with. It's very different and unusual, but it works for me and I will not allow anybody to change it.'

On that note, we'll close with this hard cut from U.S. Open champ Jim Furyk, who said, 'I'm not mechanical. I've never been. My wife would tell you because I don't do too much around the house.'

Jim Furyk's not my go-to funny guy. But that's funny.
 
Rich Lerner is covering this week's Buick Open on the PGA Tour
 
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