Wisdom from David Feherty

david fehertyDavid Feherty is a former European Tour and PGA Tour golfer, who now works as a writer and broadcaster. He is known by many for his good sense of humor. Here are a few excerpts from a banquet speech he recently gave:On the 14 years since CBS colleague Gary McCord was banned from the Masters: “They don’t do comedy at the Masters. The Masters, for me, is like holding onto a really big collection of gas for a week. It’s like having my buttocks surgically clenched at Augusta General Hospital on Wednesday, and surgically unclenched on Monday on the way to Hilton Head.”

On his decision to give up his playing career in favor of a microphone: “When CBS came to me and asked me to do on-course commentary, I said, ‘You know, I’m only 37, I still have hopes of [playing] a little better.’ So they told me what they were going to pay me, and I said, ‘You want to buy a set of clubs?’ ”

On giving up alcohol: “I didn’t quit drinking because I was a bad drunk. I quit because I was a spectacular drunk. It got to be like a video game, where you get to the highest level and it’s not even a challenge.”

On McCord’s recent revelation, at the annual JCC Sports Awards banquet in Vancouver, that Tiger Woods’ caddy Steve Williams and Feherty often try to outdo one another on the course in the area of flatulence, Feherty said Tiger is no slouch himself: “He can lay ’em down like a crop duster.”

On Gary Player’s unsubstantiated suggestion last year about use of performance-enhancing drugs in pro golf: “Gary thinks he invented fitness because he used to do pushups on the airplane. He’s just upset because you can’t win a major any more with a low, flat hook and a Napoleon complex.”

On the poor life advice Michelle Wie’s parents have given the teenage phenom: “She could be adopted by Britney Spears and be better off. I want my 16-year-old daughter to have an enormous phone bill, a case of the giggles and to be pissed off at me for killing her first three boyfriends. I do not want her out on Tour under that kind of pressure.”

On Phil Mickelson: “Phil is brilliant, but he’s nuts. There’s something not quite right about that boy. Phil is watching a movie that only Phil can see. His mother told me,’Phil was so clumsy as a little boy, we had to put a football helmet on him until he was four because he kept bumping into things.’ I told her, ‘Mary, Mary, I’m a writer, you can’t keep handing me material like this.’ So the next time I saw Phil I said, ‘You didn’t really wear a football helmet in the house until you were four, did you?’ He said, ‘It was more like
five.’ ”

On Tiger Woods: The first time he ever watched Woods play, Feherty examined the lie Tiger had in the trees, where he’d hit the ball into deep rough alongside a large root, and said on-air that the only available play was to wedge out sideways. Tiger promptly hit a towering 200-plus-yard, sweeping slice with a 2-iron that rolled to within 12 feet of the flag. “I just stood there watching him walk past,” Feherty said, “and thinking, ‘I don’t know what that is, but I know there weren’t two of them on Noah’s Ark.'”

As an example of an expert opinion on just how great Woods is, Feherty recalled a shot Tiger hit several years ago at Firestone, out of high rough just off the 18th fairway, when he was paired with Ernie Els. Feherty and Els had looked at the horrible lie Woods had drawn as they walked past en route to Els’ tee shot. Tiger’s ball was not visible from directly above. “Shame,” dead-panned the big South African. Standing side by side in the fairway, Feherty and Els saw Williams hand Tiger a wedge, then watched as Woods took a violent swing that removed a divot “like a bag of Donald Trump heads ” and launched the ball nearly 200 yards, over a pair of trees and onto the green, landing eight feet behind the flag. Feherty, after a bout of speechlessness, had just opened his microphone to comment on the shot when Els, not aware that the mic was live, turned and said, quite audibly on-air: “F—me!”

“Was that Ernie?” the CBS producer said into Feherty’s earpiece.

“Yes, it was,” he said.

Pause. “Fair enough,” said the producer.

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