A run down of those golfers who make you turn on the TV through either their genius, unpredictability or charisma
The American made his reputation at the Ryder Cup in 2014 in Gleneagles. Not only was he America’s top points scorer, but when he halved the 7th hole in his singles match with Henrik Stenson he put a finger to his lips to sssh the home crowd.
In that instance the Americas had found a hero, and the Europeans had found a pantomime villain.
As his next Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III reflected: “He has so much passion, so much fire. Like we say about Ian Poulter, Patrick Reed is built to play Ryder Cups.”
At the Rio Olympics Rose was definitely one of those golfers who make you turn on the TV.
He has an unconventional swing and sometimes hits it to similarly unconventional places. Many of us can relate to that.
What we can’t relate to is the winning the Masters by carving a wedge shot from out of the woods and curving it almost 90 degrees round to land on the green.
“My nickname is ‘Freak Show,’ because I can hit shots that people don’t hit,” Watson explains. And the public have always paid to watch a freak show.
A golfer being greeted with a chorus of Boos may not seem to be a popular fellow. But Thomas Weekley got the childhood nicknamed Boo from Yogi Bear’s friend Boo Boo.
His popularity with the Boo Crew stems from his everyman nature. He was a factory worker who got laid off, and admits he would often rather be hunting than golfing. He happily interacts with the crowds and sponsors.
”I enjoy the crowds. It’s not that hard to talk to them, to have fun with them. They pay my bills,” he reasons.
He provided many people’s most memorable image of the 2008 Ryder Cup when he pretended to gallop away from the tee using his driver as a hobby horse.
Tiger Woods is the literal definition of one of those golfers who make you turn on the TV. Viewing figures for tournaments in which he was playing, and in contention, dwarfed those of those where he was absent.
Take last year’s Wyndham Championship for instance. With Tiger in the field, viewing figures increased by 220% on the previous year’s Tiger-less event.
Tiger in his pomp drew people who were not so much interested in golf, but in a celebrity golfer and someone who was so dominant in his field. Up until the end of 2013, the last year in which Woods had a victory, he had won just over a quarter of all the tournaments he had teed it up in.