Let’s Hear It For Kooch!

Posted: May 14, 2012 in Players Championship
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Players’ newest champion, Matt “Kooch” Kuchar, is the poster boy for what our professional athletes should be.

He’s obviously talented, but he truly loves the game he plays for a living. He plays golf when he’s on vacation. He truly appreciates the fact people are willing to pay to watch him play. He walks the fairways with an ear-to-ear grin, scanning the galleries and nodding his thanks.

He shakes off adversity with the sense of how bad could the worst hole in golf be in the greater scheme of things. As far as I’m concerned he won The Players early Saturday night when he turned a water ball on 17 into a bogey and a nerve-rattled 8-iron approach at 18 into a par.

But perhaps the best way to describe Kooch is if he was a baseball player, he’d run hard to first base on every ground ball. If he was a football wide receiver, he’d run full out on every pass route even he was a decoy. If he was a basketball player, he’d play hard at both ends every time.

And he’d have a blast doing it and be thankful for the opportunity.

Unfortunately for Kuchar and the sport of golf, his victory will not resonate throughout the sports world. He lacks the celebrity appeal to draw non-golf fans to the sport.

He doesn’t hit 400-yard drives.

He says “gosh” and it means instead of spewing f-bombs.

He interrupts hugging his son to celebrate his victory to shake hands with his beaten opponent, in this case Kevin Na.

He’d rather make a double bogey than say something bad about anyone.

He’s never been arrested for drugs and spousal abuse (or for any reason as far as I know).

Not only does he love the fans, he actually seems to like the media.

He lacks matinee idol looks. In fact, he looks like most tall, lanky, balding 33-year-olds.

He does have an interesting background story in golf, making a splash at both the Masters and the U.S. Open as a 19-year-old amateur in 1998. He waited a couple of years to turn pro, opting instead to get his degree from Georgia Tech. Once he turned pro, he did well at first before losing his PGA Tour card and then bouncing back from obscurity to become the world’s No. 5 players.

But otherwise his story is the kind we scoff at instead of admire: Two loving parents, an upper middle class upbringing and a loving, happy family of his own.

If you don’t love Kooch and what he stands for that should be your loss, not the sports world’s.

 

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Comments
  1. BigBlackRod says:

    Folks like who they like. They elevate to celebrity status who they want to be there. You can’t teach charisma…PEACE.

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