Gary Woodland is one of the biggest mashers on tour, he might be one of the quirkiest, too

January 24, 2012

Your PGA Tour bio says you don't eat anything that comes from the sea. Why not?
I come from Kansas; we're steak-and-potato boys. I grew up on meat. The look of [fish or shellfish], the smell of it, the texture—I can't stand any of it. So I've never had it and I don't ever plan on doing so.

What about all those omega-3s you're missing out on?
You can get some fish-oil pills to take care of that. Those taste bad enough.

You also never travel without your iPad.
I don't sit still very well, so it gives me something to play with. I watch movies. I can't play video games because I have that addictive personality. If I started playing video games I wouldn't stop.

You're known for your big drives, but you sank all 17 of your putts inside 20 feet on Sunday at the Transitions for your first win. Was it a fluke?
It was just one of those deals where I was just trying to get the ball on the green because I felt like I was going to make it. Usually I feel like I need to get it in close to make it. That day was just the reverse. I wasn't hitting it very well and I was making everything. It was a nice change. Hopefully I get back to that very quickly. I putted like that in college a couple times but not on Tour.

You also played well at Augusta, finishing T24 in your first Masters. Does the course suit you?
It suits me really well, so I'm looking forward to getting back there. The holes that go right to left I can hit 3-wood on, and when I do hit driver it's a big advantage. There's a lot of local knowledge to learn there. I've got to play it a couple times, but I think I could do well.

Can you get that "local knowledge" from veteran players?
I played with Phil there this year, on Saturday. I got some tips watching him. If you miss it in the right spot, length is a big advantage there. He misses right on 11 and makes par. I miss it left and make bogey. You've got to know what you're doing.

Like Mickelson, you're an avid Ping-Pong player, right?
I have two tables at home, one on top of my pool table and one in the garage. When I got hurt and had surgery on my left shoulder, my arm was in a sling for over a month but I could play Ping-Pong right-handed. I started playing and got addicted.

You think you'd beat Phil?
I think it would be pretty close. I know he says he's good, but I think I'm pretty good too.

How did you hurt your shoulder?
Just wear and tear. I started feeling it in February and played through it until August and got into a lot of bad habits. It took me a year to get back to playing well. I finally got there at the end of [2010] and I've been playing well ever since.

You mark your ball with a 1984 half-dollar. Isn't that big for a ball mark?
My mom gave it to me. It was the year I was born. She gave it to me before high school and I've used it ever since. Phil used one twice the size of mine. I don't know what it was, but it was huge. Some guys who mark their ball with pennies or quarters will give you a little grief.

You're not married. Do you at least have a dog or a girlfriend?
I have a boxer and I'm getting another boxer. I have a girlfriend, Gabby Granado, who lives with me as well. We just moved into a new house. She travels with me half the time and spends the other half back home with the dog.

What's your favorite Tour stop so far?
I'd have to say Tampa right now. I won there; it's close to home. And I had a great time in Columbus [at the Memorial]. Jack treats us as good as anybody.

What else is special about the Memorial?
They have phenomenal milkshakes. I had one every day: vanilla with chocolate, mixed together. Perfect.