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Need some comic relief? Try Fuzzy

Posted: March 15, 2008 2:31 a.m.
Updated: May 16, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Fuzzy Zoeller, Mark O'Meara and John Jacobs are pictured on the 18th hole at Valencia Country Club, at the end of 54 holes over three days in the 2007 AT&T Champions Classic.

His laugh is infectious.

You can tell he smokes from it.

It's scratchy.

But it's also like a wave the way it starts slow, reaches a peak, then comes crashing down.

But it's a smile-inducer.

Fuzzy Zoeller, a Champions Tour fan-favorite, is that for his humor.

He says it's in the genes.

Zoeller's not a practical joker - no.

The 56-year-old is armed with jokes, though, on command.

"Clean or dirty?" he asks.

"The latest one we heard was about a bank robbery," he introduces. "Little old man and little old lady are in there getting ready to withdraw some money and the bank's being robbed. So the bank robber looks up at this lady just in front of him, 'Did you see what just happened there?' Lady said, 'Yes sir.' He goes: boom. Shot her dead. Looked at the old man there and said, 'Did you see what just happened here?' Guy said, 'No, but my wife saw everything.'"

Then he breaks into a roaring laugh.

Jay Haas, the 2007 Champions Tour Golfer of the Year, says he didn't quite understand Zoeller's humor at first.

"The first time I played with him, he shot a 67 or eight and he was whistling, just 'Knock it in partner.' Just his typical self," Haas recalls. "I didn't think that was his typical self because I didn't really know him that well. I'm thinking, 'Yeah, the guy can shoot 67 and he can be happy and talking and laughing and all that stuff. The next time I played with him he shot a 75 and he was the same way. Everyday I've ever been around him, he loves life, he loves people.
"He's a fun guy to be around. He was great for the PGA TOUR. He's great for the Champions Tour. And just the story I would tell about Fuzzy is he's just consistent - just consistently in a great mood and you want to be around people like that."

The 1979 Masters and 1984 U.S. Open winner is an obvious favorite early in the week during pro-ams.

The golfer says he never talks about business with the amateurs - he doesn't care what they do.

It's his job to take them away from their jobs, he says.

"If they want a Bloody Mary, I make sure they get a Bloody Mary. If they need a beer, I make sure they get a beer," Zoeller says. "It's their day away from the office. I just try and make it very memorable for them."

Zoeller didn't remember his effort at last year's AT&T Champions Classic - his best in six tries.

He tied for 10th.

"I'm glad I played well last year. At least there's hope for me," Zoeller says.

In the first round Friday, he shot a 3-over 75, trailing the leader Nick Price by nine strokes.


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