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The Shag Bag
April 27, 1998
Fuzzy-Wuzzy Again: At Augusta, where fans cheered Fuzzy Zoeller and one speaker at a golf writers' dinner exhorted his colleagues to "get off Fuzzy's butt," Zoeller and Tiger Woods left the champions' dinner together. Then came a TV ad in which Zoeller made a tongue-in-cheek confession to a priest. Last week he signed as spokesman for Links Direct, a travel firm he says shares his belief that "golf should be open to everyone." Thus Zoeller completed the six-step program of image rehab: gaffe, denial, loss of endorsements, apology, reacceptance, endorsements regained.
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April 27, 1998

The Shag Bag

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy Again: At Augusta, where fans cheered Fuzzy Zoeller and one speaker at a golf writers' dinner exhorted his colleagues to "get off Fuzzy's butt," Zoeller and Tiger Woods left the champions' dinner together. Then came a TV ad in which Zoeller made a tongue-in-cheek confession to a priest. Last week he signed as spokesman for Links Direct, a travel firm he says shares his belief that "golf should be open to everyone." Thus Zoeller completed the six-step program of image rehab: gaffe, denial, loss of endorsements, apology, reacceptance, endorsements regained.

Valediction: Gardner Dickinson, who outdueled Jack Nicklaus at the 1971 Atlanta Classic to win the last of his seven Tour titles, died on Sunday at age 70. A swing guru for pros such as Miller Barber and JoAnne Carner as well as for his wife, Judy, Dickinson "was a fierce, hardworking competitor," says Nicklaus.

Straight Shooter: In an age of fatuous jocktalk, Fred Couples's post-Masters candor was refreshing. "I may have panicked a little," he said. "I hit a couple of bad shots. I do mat almost every round. I feel like I'm a good player, not a great player."

Junior Partner: After Ken Griffey Jr. called the Masters correctly, betting Seattle Mariners teammates that his Isleworth neighbor Mark O'Meara, not Couples, would win, Griffey walked the aisle of the team plane, collecting from row after row.

Shell Game: On Sunday at the PGA Seniors' Championship, a turtle (left) cuddled up with Larry Nelson's bunkered ball. "I was just hoping that thing wouldn't turn on me," said Nelson, who was allowed to replace the ball and finished second to Hale Irwin. "It had the biggest head I've ever seen on a turtle."

I Love Loosey: "The way we Swedes are going, you Americans had better step it up!" jokes Helen Alfredsson. A detached hamstring nearly cut her career short and put her "in limbo. I couldn't exercise and I felt myself going insane." But after surgery in 1996, she's having fun again. "People say I'm totally intense," says Alfredsson, who finished 12th at the City of Hope behind winner Karrie Webb. "I say, Yes, I'm intense, but after the round I'm loosey-goosey"

Jet Lager: International players often gripe about jet lag, but Ernie Els seems immune. "It helps that I sleep well on airplanes," Els says. Is Dramamine his secret? Melatonin? "No. It's a couple of beers."

Winter Rules: Two dozen players, including Ryder Cupper Ronan Rafferty, were to compete at last week's Ice Golf Championship in Uummannaq, Greenland, playing on tundra and icebergs that featured whites instead of greens. The event was canceled when a warm spell melted much of the course.

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