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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Puma Upstages the Tiger

Will the Puma, aka Rickie Fowler, finally start winning on the PGA Tour? Was his win in Asia this past weekend a harbinger of things to come?

The jury's still out on that one, but we do know this much: The Puma is now one-up on the Tiger this year.

I know you're probably laughing at that comparison. After all, Tiger has 71 wins -- 97 counting worldwide wins -- of which 14 are majors. Rickie has one newly-minted worldwide win, and that on neither the European or PGA Tours. Not much of a comparison, is it?

But Rickie is only at the beginning of his career. And while he may never rack up the numbers like Tiger -- do we really think anybody anywhere will do that soon? -- he still has some serious potential. And as a poet once said, nobody has yet figured out how to measure what's in a human heart.

The inability of publishers to recognize what will sell is legendary among writers. For example, did you know that Rudyard Kipling was told that he didn't know how to use the English language? Or that Richard Bach was told Jonathan Livingston Seagull would never sell? (It was turned down over 140 times... and the best figures I can find say it has sold over 30 million copies in 36 languages.) Stephen King's Carrie was turned down 30 times, and J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter book 12 times. Just search the web for "famous writer rejections" and you can find some really interesting ones.

How many "can't miss" companies go bankrupt? A lot of our financial problems got started in the "dot-com bust" that began this century. I still remember watching the NASDAQ go up 66% in 2 months... and hearing reputable analysts say that it was ok, that's how our economy worked now.

Most "knowledgeable" people didn't think Lee Trevino would amount to anything with that funky swing of his. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots wasn't drafted until the 6th round. (For those of you who don't know, that's worse than bad. Pee Wee Herman could probably get drafted by the 4th round.) Both of them, like many others, did pretty good for themselves.

So I'll be interested to see what happens to Rickie over the next few months. He did beat Rory McIlroy and Y.E. Yang to get his first win, and both of them seem to be pretty good players.

Maybe Tiger will consider some Asian Tour events, just for practice. I'm sure Rickie would recommend it.

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