You want to know how starved the PGA is for a post-Tiger, post-Phil star? Exhibit A: This pre-US Open New York Times feature on Hunter Mahan, who's currently 18th in the world rankings.
I'm sure Hunter Mahan would have no problem with being an above-average American golfer indistinguishable from all the others in the eyes of casual fans. But the PGA has a stodgy image to combat, and so we find the two sides of Hunter Mahan taking the stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week.
"I wanted to do something different, didn't want to wear a blue blazer and khaki pants like all the other guys," Mahan joked, looking up at the photo and back at his audience, some of whom were wearing exactly that. "Just a different side of me people don't see. They see me in golf clothes all the time. I like doing different things." [...]
What ties all this together is that Mahan is a huge music fan, his iPod filled with Linkin Park, the Clash and Florence and the Machine.
Now, that's swell and everything, but "huge music fan" is the kind of phrase that turns up on every vanilla Match.com profile. We can't help but sigh when we chisel through that bromide to find an admiration for a universally adored band, a young woman whose hit was inescapable over the winter, and Linkin fucking Park. Only Nickelback did more to murder rock music in the 2000s, and at least they were ringers from up north.
Oh, and he likes Linkin Park best of the three. Writes the Times: "A lyric from the song "I Have Not Begun" by his favorite band, Linkin Park, could apply to the message: "You can think that I'm finished. I have not begun; Follow me. I got styles. You can copy one."" Murray Chass shudders and shakes his fist. Kids these days.