February 3, 2009

What Tour Players Really Think

Our wide-ranging survey of the game's elite reveals what they'll say when promised anonymity

WHO'S THE BEST JOKE-TELLER ON TOUR?

Todd Hamilton: 17%

Steve Elkington: 13%

Harrison Frazar: 8%

Neal Lancaster: 8%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Paul Azinger, Rich Beem, Tim Clark, Carlos Franco, Paul Goydos, Peter Jacobsen, Peter Lonard, Nick Price, Chris Riley, Boo Weekley

WHO'S THE BEST ATHLETE ON TOUR?

Tiger Woods: 50%

Will MacKenzie:12%

James Driscoll: 8%

"I am!": 8%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Brad Faxon ("before the knee injury"), Anthony Kim, Neal Lancaster, Camilo Villegas

WHO'S THE BEST CADDIE ON TOUR?

"Mine": 46%

Steve Williams (Tiger Woods: 15%

Jim (Bones) Mackay (Phil Mickelson): 12%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Tony Navarro (Adam Scott), Fred Sanders (Kenny Perry), Brett Waldman (Ben Crane). Comment "Ain't found him yet."

INCLUDING THE YEARS YOU WERE GROWING UP, DID YOU EVER ASK FOR AN ATHLETE'S AUTOGRAPH?

Yes: 78%

No: 22%

COMMENTS: "Only one: Byron Nelson." ... "If I ever did, it's in the trash now." ... Among the autographs tour players remember getting: Johnny Bench, Larry Bird, Ron Cey, Fred Couples, Jack Nicklaus, Pete Rose, Tom Watson.

WHO'S THE BRIGHTEST GUY ON TOUR?

Joe Ogilvie: 50%

Paul Goydos: 13%

Tiger Woods: 13%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Padraig Harrington, Greg Norman, Chris Riley, Kirk Triplett

MCCAIN OR OBAMA?

McCain: 71%

Obama: 29%

(ASKED PRIOR TO THE NOV. 4 ELECTION)

WHO HAS THE WORST TEMPER ON TOUR?

Pat Perez: 28%

Woody Austin: 24%

Steve Flesch: 12%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Mark Calcavecchia, J.J. Henry, J.B. Holmes, Kent Jones, Frank Lickliter, John Merrick, Kevin Na, Arron Oberholser, Jin Park, Kevin Stadler

__WHICH PLAYER OVERACHIEVED MOST IN THE MARRIAGE DEPARTMENT?

__Jim Furyk: 17%

Phil Mickelson: 13%

"All of us!": 13%

Eric Axley: 8%

Parker McLachlin: 8%

Tiger Woods: 8%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Stephen Ames, Aaron Baddeley, Mark Calcavecchia, Bob Estes, Steve Lowery, John Rollins

COMMENTS: "The greatest overachiever is Dean Wilson, and all the women he blows through." ... "Furyk might be married to Joe the Plumber's sister if he weren't a professional golfer." ..."Tiger? He has nothing going for him, and he got that girl?"

__WHO'S THE MOST OVER-HYPED PLAYER ON TOUR?

__Charles Howell III: 19%

Bubba Watson: 14%

Luke Donald: 10%

Rory Sabbatini: 10%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Woody Austin, John Daly, Chris DiMarco, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Camilo Villegas

COMMENT: "It used to be Camilo Villegas, but after his two wins you can't say that anymore."

__WHICH PLAYER SHOULD GET A LOT MORE HYPE THAN HE DOES?

__Briny Baird: 12%

Jason Day: 12%

Boo Weekley: 12%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Woody Austin, Angel Cabrera, Joe Durant, Steve Flesch, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Steve Marino, Pat Perez, John Rollins, Brandt Snedeker, Kevin Sutherland, David Toms, Charlie Wi, Tiger Woods

__WHO'S THE SLOWEST PLAYER ON TOUR?

__Ben Crane: 43%

J.B. Holmes: 32%

Glen Day: 11%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Michael Allen, Jason Allred, Tiger Woods, "any Swede"

__NAME ONE GOLF ANNOUNCER YOU COULD LIVE WITHOUT

__Kelly Tilghman: 30%

Nick Faldo: 17%

Peter Kostis: 13%

Johnny Miller: 9%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Curt Byrum, Bobby Clampett, Brian Hammons, John Hawkins, Renton Laidlaw, Dave Marr III, Gary McCord, Mark Rolfing

__WHAT'S THE BEST COURSE YOU PLAY ON TOUR?

__Pebble Beach Golf Links: 19%

Augusta National Golf Club: 15%

Harbour Town Golf Links: 15%

Muirfield Village Golf Club: 12%

Quail Hollow Club: 12%

Riviera Country Club: 12%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Spyglass Hill, Torrey Pines, Colonial, TPC Sawgrass, Waialae Country Club, "any course where I've won."

__WHAT'S THE WORST COURSE YOU PLAY ON TOUR?

__La Cantera Golf Club (San Antonio): 33%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Brown Deer Park G. Cse. (Milwaukee), Montreux G. & C.C. (Reno, Nev.), Oakmont C.C., PGA National (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Quail Hollow (Charlotte), Redstone G.C. (Humble, Tex.) COMMENTS: "For $6 million, I'd play in a parking lot." ... "Augusta is overrated, especially with all the changes."

__SHOULD PLAYERS EVER BE ALLOWED TO WEAR SHORTS ON TOUR?

__No: 60%

Yes: 40%

COMMENT: "No. Just look at Tim Herron."

WHAT DO YOU THINK? CAST YOUR VOTE NOW >>

__WHICH OF THESE PLAYERS WILL EVENTUALLY WIN A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP?

__Sergio Garcia-- Yes: 100%| No:0%

Anthony Kim-- Yes: 96%| No: 4%

Adam Scott -- Yes: 67% | No: 33%

Camilo Villegas -- Yes: 60% | No: 40%

Lee Westwood -- Yes: 30% | No: 70%

__WHICH OF THESE PLAYERS WILL WIN AT LEAST ONE MORE TIME ON THE PGA TOUR?

__Davis Love III* -- Yes: 80% | No: 20%

David Duval -- Yes: 20% | No: 80%

Fred Couples -- Yes: 10% | No: 90%

John Daly -- Yes: 10% | No: 90%

*asked before his victory Nov. 9 at Disney

__WHICH TOUR PLAYER HAS THE COOLEST HOUSE?

__Jesper Parnevik: 30%

Chris DiMarco: 15%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Davis Love III, Greg Norman, Vijay Singh, Steve Stricker, Kirk Triplett, "Tiger's new place in Jupiter [Fla.], when it's finally built."

COMMENT: "DiMarco, because he has a bowling alley."

WHICH TOUR PLAYER HAS THE COOLEST CAR?

Paul Azinger (Ford GT): 16%

Pat Perez (Ferrari): 16%

Stuart Appleby (Lamborghini): 11%

Hunter Mahan (Bentley): 11%

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Alex Cejka, Daniel Chopra, Steve Elkington, Charles Howell III, Kenny Perry, Ian Poulter, Bubba Watson

COMMENTS: "Definitely not Bubba Watson's lime-green Lamborghini." ... "Elkington's '55 pink-and-brown Crown Victoria is awesome!"

survey

__WHO WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE DINNER WITH: PHIL OR VIJAY?

__Phil: 50%

Vijay: 50%

COMMENTS: "What are we eating?" ... "So either I listen to Phil tell me everything he thinks he knows, or I sit with Vijay while he says nothing." ... "Give me a choice!"

CONSIDERING THE ECONOMY, DO YOU EXPECT TO BE PLAYING FOR MORE OR LESS MONEY WHEN THE TOUR NEGOTIATES ITS NEXT TV CONTRACT?*

Less: 43%

More: 35%

Same: 22%

*TV deal runs through the 2012 season

__HOW MANY TIMES WERE YOU DRUG-TESTED DURING THE 2008 SEASON?

__Zero: 42%

Once: 38%

Twice:20%

COMMENT: "Fingerprinted once."

BASED ON A SURVEY OF 25 PGA TOUR PLAYERS; SOME QUESTIONS WEREN'T ANSWERED BY ALL 25