Q&A: Tour pros, college star and Hall of Famer
I have spoken with one of college golf’s best, three PGA Tour players and an LPGA Hall of Famer in the last few week. Hope you find these comments as interesting as I did.
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Three-time PGA Tour winner Chris DiMarco
Wildman: You’re a proud Florida alumnus. Who would make your all-time starting five for the Gators?
DiMarco: All-time starting five? Wow! You would definitely have to go back – Andy Bean, Gary Koch, he was really strong. I’m going to go six because I can’t do just five. David Jackson, Dudley Hart, myself, and Camilo. Boy, I tell you what, there’s another top six right behind them we could go with – Bob Murphy, Tommy Aaron, Brian Gay, the list goes on. The weather is always great in Florida and we got to play year round and there’s a lot of guys out here (on the PGA Tour) for that reason.
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LPGA Hall of Famer and winner of 88 LPGA events, Kathy Whitworth
Wildman: Why didn’t you play college golf?
Whitworth: There just wasn’t anything available. I think there was three colleges or universities with golf programs. Odessa Community College was one of them and that was about 60 to 70 miles from where I grew up. They approached me about it and I did go one semester, but it just wasn’t what I thought it would be. So I went along and turned pro.
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PGA Tour player Erik Compton
Wildman: You were an All-American at Georgia before graduating in 2001. If you could go back relive one of your college moments, what would it be?
Compton: It would the putt I made at the 2000 SEC Championship at Turtle Point with the team around the green. It was a 60-footer. It was just awesome because we ended up winning the tournament. It was a great memory.
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Bill Haas, winner of the 2010 Bob Hope Classic
Wildman: You played at Wake Forest which has several of the game’s most-recognizable faces. Who is your all-time starting five at Wake Forest?
Haas: That’s a tough one. I’ll have to go with Curtis Strange, Arnold Palmer, my dad (Jay Haas), Lanny Wadkins and maybe Scott Hoch when he was in his prime. I just don’t know, there is a lot to choose from there.
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Wichita State senior All-American Dustin Garza, a five-time winner this season
Wildman: You were recently named to the Hogan Watch list, which many refer too as the Heisman Trophy of college golf. Every year it seems there’s a guy from a mid-major flying under the radar. Most recently it was Troy Merritt and Mike Van Sickle. Do you think of yourself as someone that flies under the radar?
Garza: Those guys were at mid-majors just like I am, but I just have to go out there and play and whatever happens, happens. Whatever awards guys like us can get we want to win, but we just need to go out and play good golf. That’s what I can control and that’s what I need to do.