Aaron Baddeley is only 25, but says of his PGA Tour career, "I feel like I've been out here forever."
Such is the life of a 20-something on Tour: Lose and you're a bust, especially if you've shown early signs of prodigious talent. But win? Win and the public and press murmur and shout, how about a major?
Baddeley seemed to anticipate the question moments after eking out his first Tour victory at the Verizon Heritage Classic in Hilton Head, South Carolina, last weekend. After the young Aussie explained that the W was, "a stepping stone of the big picture," and was asked what exactly the big picture is, he replied: "To win major tournaments. Win majors. To win majors."
Sigh. Perhaps it was too much to hope for that he'd say, "Cars. Birds. Birdies. The Simpsons. And X-Box."
There is no joie de vivre in the land of 20-somethings because, as Jim Furyk put it after losing to Baddeley by a stroke, "When a kid comes out and he's 21, I think everyone expects him to be a world-beater. Everyone is looking for the next Tiger Woods, and there's not too many of those."
Woods didn't need his 20s to broker a truce between his physical talents and his head, suggesting "maturation" was a polite word for "dilly-dallying." We all bought it, especially the players, but Tiger's 20s are looking more freakish by the day.
The Dukes of Hazard
|Cameron Morfit covers the PGA Tour as a Senior Writer for GOLF MAGAZINE. You can read his column every Monday on GOLFONLINE. E-mail him your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.|