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The Mullet Man Does It Again

 

 
 
 

If Cameron Smith (Titleist Pro V1x) ever cuts his hair, he may end up like Samson.

Remember the story last year that he promised his girlfriend he would cut off his mullet after his next win on the PGA Tour and didn’t fulfill on that following his win with fellow Aussie Marc Leishman (Callaway Chrome Soft X) in the TPC Louisiana last April? Leishman had some fun wearing a mullet wig to salute Smith.

The only trim job happened in advance of the Olympics when he had the letters AUS shaved into his temple. He finished 10th in the tournament.

He has not made any cuts or trims since, and if he’s smart he doesn’t. Samson should be his guide. According to the Old Testament, in the 16fh century Samson fell in love with the lovely Delilah who was bribed into discovering the secret of Samson’s strength. He told her it was his hair and she ordered a servant to cut his long locks while he was sleeping. It immediately sapped him of the thing that made him so strong.

To quote Nazareth, the band not the place, Love Hurts.

The J. Geils Band has a song called Love Stinks. Adam Sandler’s love-torn character, Robbie Hart, sings it with anguish in The Wedding Singer.

But I’m getting way off topic.

Smith is rocking a retro hairstyle, and not only does it add some fun and personality to the sport, it’s great for branding, even more so when he is winning. He did so in wire-to-wire fashion last week in the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. That was some kind of tournament, especially with Smith and Jon Rahm (Callaway Chrome Soft X) practically engaging in match play in the final round. It was kind of like watching heavyweight boxers Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, who were not golfers to my knowledge, duking it out. If you don’t get the reference, you are simply too young. Maybe I should have used Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed as an example, but I am also dating myself with that reference.

Whatever.

I would describe the final round in one word, stupefying. I think in my entire journalism career, which this year will be 40 years or four decades because that sounds more profound, I have never used stupefying until now.

I don’t know if I’m more surprised by that or by the fact I have worked this long as a journalist.

God, I am old.

Smith registered a one-stroke victory over Rahm with a tournament record 34-under-par. The tournament was played under absolutely pristine (another big word) conditions. With the aid of no wind blowing off of the ocean, no precipitation and kind greens, the conditions were perfect for some creative shot-making. They were also appealing for looking at the crystal-clear island water and whale watching.

The Sentry Tournament of Champions was the first tournament of the 2022 PG Golf pool, now in its fourth year and my second year as a participant. You are only allowed to pick one player twice in the season. The top-two teams with the most earnings win prize money. The team with the most money from the majors also wins.

I had Justin Thomas (Titleist Pro V1x) and Viktor Hovland (Titleist Pro V1) as my picks in week one. Thomas, a two-time champion of the event, proved you could lose a tournament in the first round when he was one-over-par before beginning a torrid streak that included a 12-under-par 61 in the second round. He simply had too much ground to cover when everyone was firing darts and finished in a three-way tie for fifth at 25-under-par. Hovland never really got rolling and finished tied for 30th at 14-under-par. Phil Mickelson (Callaway Chrome Soft X), who is twice his age, also tied for 30th with reigning champion Harris English (Titleist Pro V1).

Only one person in the pool had Smith, James Wall. I have no idea who he is or if that is a code name because he wants to remain anonymous. My team name is PerryGL. The G is the initial of my middle name, but I won’t disclose it. I often tell my mother I don’t particularly like my first name and the second even less. For the record I am named after Perry Como, Mr. Relaxation. My parents were obsessed with the letter P because they wanted to name me after my maternal grandfather’s brother, whom I never met and don’t even know what his name was. They didn’t want to call me Paul because that’s the name of my first cousin, who is much older, and my mother thought I would be referred to as Small Paul by my relatives. So my great aunt was watching a Perry Como special and immediately called my mother and suggested Perry. She loved it. I have no idea how she came up with the second name, maybe it had to do with Gilbert and Sullivan. Dang, I just outed out my middle name. What’s the matter with you PerryGL?

But back to James Wall. You succeed in the tournament picking a player no one else has selected and saving the big-name players for later tournaments. James Wall totaled $1,577,000 in earnings from his two picks, the other one being Jason Kokrak (Titleist Pro V1), who finished last. I totaled $394,000.

The top-two teams with the most earnings win prize money. The team with the most money from the majors also wins.

The good news for me is the second-place finisher, Matthew Campbell, who runs the pool, has $572,000. So I’m not totally out of it after the first tournament and, as someone once said, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Reigning champion Patrick Davis, whose strategy is to save the big guns for later in the season, totalled $265,000. But he is sneaky good, so I’m not going to discount him at all.

It’s on to week two with the Sony Open, which also takes place in sunny Hawaii, which is where I want to be right about now because it’s cold in Toronto, where I love, and the eastern part of North America. As the song goes, Baby It’s Cold Outside. I wish I was in Hawaii.

Elvis Presley has several songs with Hawaiian themes, all from the movie Blue Hawaii. Aside from that song there is also Hawaiian Wedding Song, Moonlight Swim and Rock-A-Hula Baby.

Is that a great name for a song or what?

Aloha!

Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko is an award-winning writer who has published nine books, three of them bestsellers. He has been involved in sports writing for more than 35 years and has interviewed many superstar athletes. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and enjoys watching golf and playing it.

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