Masters 2013: With Lynn on Tour, the joke’s on us
Move over, Bubba Watson and Boo Weekley. There’s a new funnyman on the PGA Tour, and his name is David Lynn. “Well you need me over here, don’t you?” asked Lynn, a veteran of the European Tour who is about
to play in his first Masters. “I heard it got so bland out here that Ben Crane counts as funny these days.”
So Lynn has brought his brand of British humor to the Tour. Fans at Doral dubbed it “Lynn-sanity.” Have you heard about the fast one he pulled on his caddie? Think Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o.
When Lynn’s caddie Wayne Husselbury, who is single, created a dating-website profile, Lynn’s mischievous mind cruised into overdrive. He set up his own account posing as a woman, with a busty photo of “a real stunner,” and started messaging his caddie. As Husselbury conceded, he took the bait, “hook, line and sinker.” The looper couldn’t wait to meet his love connection.
“I let the cat out of the bag after only a few hours,” Lynn said. “I wasn’t cruel.”
In case you were concerned that there might be bruised feelings, don’t be. As Husselbury re-told his side of the story, he laughed so hard that tears shot from his eyes.
The PGA Tour hasn’t had a scratch-handicap prankster like Lynn since the days of the late Payne Stewart slipping bananas into Paul Azinger’s shoes. In his Twitter profile, the 39-year-old Lynn confesses he probably never will grow up. But not even Peter Pan packed water balloons in his suitcase. Fellow Englishman Greg Owen, Lynn’s former roommate on the European Tour, recalled the time Lynn flooded a hotel lobby in Spain. Welshman Jamie Donaldson broke into laughter recounting how they dropped water balloons on patrons at an art-gallery opening. On another occasion, the target was a taxi-cab stand.
“I’ve been known to do a few stupid things,” Lynn said.
He has found some zany ways to pass the time. Among his specialties: bringing a container of super glue to dinner, then, when one of his mates would excuse himself to go to “the loo,” Lynn would glue his pal’s cutlery to the table.
“We were up to no good,” confessed another former partner-in-crime, Ian Poulter.
Lynn’s latest fascination is planking, the practice of lying horizontally in a strange or unusual place with arms tucked tightly against the body. Lynn has done it everywhere from atop a replica Ming vase to the bear statue
at PGA National. He posted the photos to prove it. Harmless fun, he calls it.
Lynn is a lean 6 feet, 3 inches, lean with bronze hair and friendly pale-blue eyes. Friends call him “Coat Hanger” or “Shoulders,” nicknames that perfectly capture his appearance. Of his upcoming Masters debut, Lynn said, “I just hope they have a jacket with big-enough shoulders for me.”
His stateside adventures reflect just how far one good week without even winning can take you in the world of golf. In order to protect his position in the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking and qualify for the 2012 PGA Championship, he sat out a month after the Scottish Open. (He got in as No. 98.)
Get this: The PGA Championship at Kiawah Island was Lynn’s first event in the United States, and just his second appearance in a major. Lynn rocketed up the leaderboard with a pair of weekend 68s and finished a distant second to Rory McIlroy. He cashed the largest check of his career ($865,000), and earned enough to be fully exempt on the Tour this season. So he jumped at the chance to cross the pond, right?
Not so fast.
His first impulse: “That’s not really for me,” he said.
But the more Lynn considered it, the more he realized that he turns 40 later this year. He concluded: “You don’t get many opportunities like this.”
It has been a merry junket so far. He was serenaded as if at a rugby match with “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” at TPC Scottsdale’s 16th hole. Contacts at Aston Martin arranged for him to drive the DB9 during an off-week in Los Angeles, and he landed an endorsement deal with watchmaker Ritmo Mundo while shopping on Rodeo Drive.
Lynn is making the most of his adventure, but he also is serious about his game. This is his chance to prove his merit as a world-class player. He has made a comfortable living on the European Tour, and won the 2004 KLM Open. Is he capable of more? At the Honda, he tied for fourth and outplayed Tiger Woods in their third-round pairing, 68 to Woods’ 70. Of course, this served as fodder for his self-deprecating humor.
“So is this what happens out here?” Lynn tweeted. “Outscore Tiger when you play with him and whisked straight off for a drug test.”