Alan Shipnuck's Mailbag: Love is plenty dynamic, it's time for young Americans to step up, and prospects for next book

Friday January 21st, 2011

Jan21-davis-love_300x233 The season gets serious now. I'll be covering three tourneys in a row beginning in San Diego, so expect some dispatches from the mean streets of La Jolla, Scottsdale and Pebble Beach ...Who's more dynamic, Davis Love or Cory Pavin? lol... — Dave A., New YorkI get the sarcasm, but Love will have more of a rally-the-troops effect than his flat-lined predecessor. He's a much more popular figure in the clubhouse and on the range because he's a schmoozer and a guy's guy, forever chatting about snowboarding or hunting or fishing or course design or his other interests and hobbies. Love's placid demeanor as a competitor is deceptive; he cares deeply. That was obvious with his teary introductory press conference during which he showed more passion than during Pavin's entire glum, two-year reign. Love also has just enough of a mischievous streak to start a little ruckus with the British press, which is a key bit of entertainment for any Ryder Cup.What's with 7 of world's top 12 in Abu Dhabi this week? Love of appearance fees or hatred of pro-ams like Hope? —Bert Stewart, PhiladelphiaYes.When will the young Americans (O'Hair, AK, Mahan) step up the way the young Europeans have and become consistent winners? — Brian RosenwaldMaybe never, but let's hope that's not the case. The Euro tour created so much buzz last year with the stellar performances of its top players, but the fact remains that there is much more depth on the PGA Tour. By playing mostly in Europe, talented youngsters like Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer get a lot more chances to win early in their careers. They bank invaluable experience learning to manage their emotions and their games under pressure. Also the money is a lot less so finishing fourth doesn't feel as good. On the PGA Tour young players have to fight so hard for just a couple of chances to win. I think they get seduced into thinking a top-10 is a satisfactory result. I think Mahan and Kim and O'Hair are finally at a point in their careers where they understand a lucrative tie for sixth is not good enough. They've been through enough Sunday dogfights now to know what it takes to win. It takes longer over here, but the best players eventually figure it out. We'll see who among them can apply that knowledge.Is Anthony Kim overrated? Three wins and 20 career top 10's is hardly compelling. — Anthony IserTo this point Kim has gotten a pass based on his youth and tantalizing potential, but it's time for him to put up or shut up. I understand he's 25 and wants to have fun and chase tail—hey, the Mailbag can't begrudge him that. But there's 27 weeks a year for that, when he's not playing a tournament. Last night, following the second round of the Hope, I got a text from a friend in Palm Springs who wrote, "AK and his entourage are here at the bar hitting it pretty hard." Until he takes his life on the road more seriously, I fear we won't see Kim's best golf. Correction: Anthony Kim is not playing the Bob Hope this week, so the Mailbag fully endorses his night on the town in Palm Springs.I read "Swinging from my Heels" a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I read "Bud, Sweat and Tees" years ago and enjoyed that also. So, who will you next stalk for a year? Can I suggest G-Mac? I suspect that would be pretty darned entertaining! — Mark LimbaughClearly Mark is a very discerning reader. It's funny you'd mention G-Mac because I'm presently trying to arrange a trip to Portrush to hang out with him and his mates for an SI story. To understand a guy like McDowell you have to see him in his native environment. Anyway, I've always loved the Euro tour. I think spending a year over there writing about the players and their madcap adventures would make a killer book. Alas, it's tough to pull it off with little kids. But you can look forward to my chronicle of the 2026 season over there.
  (Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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