PGA Tour Confidential: The Verizon Heritage

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
Darren Carroll/SI
Brain Gay won by a record 10 shots Sunday at Harbour Town.
McCallum: Cink is Tweeting ... and I'm thinking about going back to my persimmon 3-wood off the tee.

Van Sickle: Wonder if any other pros are Tweeting and we just haven't noticed yet?

Herre: Bet some LPGA players are — or will be soon after seeing how much publicity Cink has been getting.

Szeker: Natalie Gulbis already is — http://twitter.com/natalie_gulbis — with lots of pictures from her "Celebrity Apprentice" experience.

McCallum: Hard to believe Gulbis is not — as we speak — tweeting about her dinner plans. I swear I didn't see this before my entry. It just figures that a "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant would tweet.

Herre: Did you read about the Denver reporter who tweeted a funeral for his — now dead — newspaper? A dangerous weapon in the wrong hands.

Van Sickle: This week should be a real ratings bonanza for CBS, he said sarcastically. A guy wins a tournament by ten shots. No Sunday excitement whatsoever. And the runaway winner is Brian Gay, a pretty good golfer that most of the public knows nothing about. That's a double whammy for CBS.

McCallum: I actually prepared for this discussion by Googling Brian Gay. Turns out he's one of Sligo's top clothes horses. They're heavy into pastels, explaining the lime-green trou.

Van Sickle: I liked the lime green slacks. I'd also like to see him walk into a biker bar wearing that outfit.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Greetings from Hilton Head, and a special prize to anybody who can tell me what the phrase "spanking the blond monkey" refers to. Hint: it involves special guest Jack McCallum of Bethlehem, Pa., and your better NBA hotels. With his gaudy 10-shot lead and fashion-forward look, Brian Gay, bored with the proceedings, went into one of the many condos bordering the course and tweeted thusly to Tiger: "U, me, Angel, p-round, B'page Black. Bring $." I always thought this was a most unassuming and pleasant young man, in the Mark Wilson tradition, but it turns out he had the balls to win by 10. Some of these Tour players are experts at hiding who they really are. Like Fred Couples being so uptight and nervous on the course, but floating along. Fred's still not picking up the phone. But he's gonna have at least one new-ager on his Presidents Cup team: Mr. Brian Gay.

Shipnuck: I have been cultivating a Gay feature for our Players preview and going back to February have spent a lot of time with Brian and his wife, Kimberly, who is loud and funny and theatrical and gregarious — in other words, the opposite of her hubby. The interesting thing about Brian is that in his late 30's he's getting better every year. He's always had a spectacular short-game but a couple of years ago he revamped his swing by watching the videos at lynnblakegolf.com. Now Gay is one of the straightest hitters in golf, and he still has that short game. He's definitely not a fluke — going back to the mini tours the guy has never had a fear of going low. He'll be a great foursomes player at the Prez Cup and I expect him to play well at U.S. Opens and PGA Championships, now that he'll finally be exempt.

Evans: Gay is sort of a throwback winner from the Curtis Strange era: not real sexy but very well-rounded and consistent. As a fan of Homer Kelley and the Golfing Machine, it's also nice to see one of his disciples get a win.

Herre: So the final score this month is: Golfing Machine 1, Stack and Tilt 0.

Shipnuck: Another thought on Gay: It's refreshing how much he and Kimberly appreciate their success after 15 years of toil. There's many ways they express this but one anecdote will resonate with this crowd: I took them out for dinner the week of the L.A. Open and the next day Kimberly hand-delivered to me a thank-you note which said they were "humbled" and "flattered" by the attention.

Herre: So, did Rory mess up by saying no to the PGA Tour?

Evans: Rory showed a lot of maturity and worldliness in not taking the Tour's bait with the special temporary card. He's a world player who can get into the important U.S. events with his world ranking. The FedEx Cup is not a priority for every player in the world.

Herre: Agreed, Farrell. And he's just a kid. Playing in Europe first will probably be better for him in the long run. Look what happened to the last Euro teen who focused on the PGA Tour too soon.

McCallum: I thought Michelle Wie was from Hawaii.

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