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06/04/2014

Uncomfortable questions with Fuzzy Zoeller

Sfl-2013-allianz-championship-photos-20130208-002Fuzzy Zoeller is synoymous with golf, and a candid mouth, but he is also a huge race fan. Open wheel. NASCAR. 

A winner of The Masters and the 1984 U.S. Open, Zoeller now resides in Southern Indiana, plays on the Champions Tour, and has his own line of vodka, which sponsors IndyCar driver Mike Conway as part of Ed Carpenter racing.

The IndyRacing league comes to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for its annual event.

Fuzzy was nice enough to take a few uncomfortable questions.

Are you playing often these days? Not as much as I used to. I took semi-retirement a few years ago, for a good reason. My golf game went to hell and a hand basket.

How does a former PGA pro define hell and a hand basket for his golf game? (long laugh) I just got tired of playing the game. Even though I still love the game and respect the game, doing it for a living ... I just wanted to find something different.

Did playing golf for a living take the fun out? No. I always had fun. It is still a game.

Do you follow the PGA Tour any more? No, not as much. But when there is nothing else on TV I'll turn it over to watch. It's something to watch.

With the courses set up longer and the equipment so good, do you feel it's still the same as when you played on tour? Well, I think there are more talented golfers than when I played. The equipment has something to do with it. The kids are more talented. More than I was. 

Do you believe that today's golfer is more talented than you? Then when I came out? Yeah. Teachings. When I played, we did it all ourselves. These guys are being taught from the time they are a kid. They know how to play from a young age.

Do you think the PGA tour is lacking personality in today's game? I think all of these kids have personalities, but I think so many of them ... I think cell phones have a lot to do with it. You just have to be very, very careful these days.

Fuzzy-zoeller_337.jpgWhen you look back at your big wins - Masters & PGA - how much of it do think you were just on, and how much of it was just good luck? You know a lot of it is luck. Any time when you beat the best at what they do it takes luck.
In '84 at the Masters, it was a course I knew and liked. The same with Augusta.

What was your favorite course? Augusta National, without having an ocean to look at, it was just pure natural beauty.

A course you hated? Not hate, but some that I didn't appreciate.

Are you still a big race fan? Oh yeah. I follow racing more than I do golf.

Who were your favorite drivers? A.J. Foyt was the top of the list. Everybody wanted to beat him. Mario Andretti. Bobby Rahal. There were so many. Johnny Rutherford.

How did get attached to a premium brand vodka? I was being sent all kinds of wine to put my name on, but I'm not a wine drinker. Then a (colleague) walked by the office and said, 'Why wouldn't you do a vodka?' and that's how it got started eight years ago. I have to believe in a product to put my name on it. To put your name on it, you have to believe in it.

Fort Worth question - you played Colonial, and knew Ben Hogan. What was he like? I did know Mr. Hogan. A very friendly man, and very, very friendly to me. Mr. Hogan was a different individual, not but really outgoing as they say.

 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

cranberry in fort worth

his vodka is excellent. I'm not a huge vodka drinker but every now and then I'll have some with some juice. I got my first taste of his stuff at a party a few years back. it's excellent.

Davidmar

I would have paid you money if you would have asked him if he likes fried chicken and collard greens.

joe pinnick

Fuzzy, I am writing this post in hopes you receive it. You went to a Dairy Queen in Sellersburg and I work there and I came out to meet you because when I was young I caddied for you and you and your friends had a good laugh because you made a comment about look at you now then you and your friends laughed. So I was one of your biggest
fans but on this day you lost a lot of fans everyone there at the time heard you and was very upset that you would do that to a human being. yes I do work there because of medical reasons so don't judge till you no what is going on in that persons life.

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