Fuzzy Zoeller arrived at the driving range about three hours before the Executive Women's Pro-Am -- the first time an event has been exclusive to female amateurs. Surrounded by a lively crew, he was already full of energy as he sliced the thick, humid air with his driver and stopped to admire the good shots.
"I've been working with him for 25 years, and he always has a good time," 3M tournament director Hollis Cavner said of the man he persuaded to come early for the Pro-Am.
"It was indeed my pleasure," Zoeller said with a good-hearted cackle.
The qualifier was, of course, that he could have some fun with it. Zoeller's golf cart was equipped with his personal brand of vodka, Fuzzy -- a clear bottle with the image of a golf course reflected inside -- and a lot of plastic cups.
"You have to do that, it's the Pro-Am!" Zoeller said, smiling. "If they have a bad shot, they can just drink it away."Father's day
All 3M events may be free to the public, but there were few observers drifting through the gallery Tuesday because of the sweltering temperatures. But two dads tottered against the green wall of the 18th hole bleachers with their daughters, armed with PGA caps and folded paper fans.
"It's just a good excuse to bring the girls out," St. Paul native David Holeman said. The pair of fathers agreed the absence of players such as Fred Couples, Tom Watson and Tom Lehman "takes away from the event a little, but it's still exciting, it's still fun," Holeman said.Feels like home
Mitch Adcock, who made this week's 3M field via the Monday qualifier, was one of the early risers on the driving range Tuesday. He had worked up a noticeable lather of sweat by midday, which oozed through his yellow shirt.
A passerby took notice and offered sympathy. But the Macon, Miss., native seemed just fine with the thick, soupy conditions. "Ah, it's perfect," Adcock said.Looking toward PGA
While on the driving range Tuesday morning, Brad Bryant demonstrated for the Golf Channel how to "hard hook" around the lake on the 17th green at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., where Bryant won the U.S. Senior Open in 2007. The PGA Championship will be held there on Aug. 12-15.
"It's a pretty difficult course, but the winds are what really make the difference," Bryant said.