August 30, 2011
Here's an interesting conundrum in the world of golf: everyone on earth derides these guys for being club-swinging automatons, but whenever one of them speaks up and offers a notable quote, much of the golf world goes crazy with disbelief.
Let's back up a second. First, the complete U.S. Walker Cup team was announced this past weekend, and there was one notable omission: LSU's John Peterson. Our own Jonathan Wall noted that Peterson, "considered by many to be a lock after he was crowned the 2011 NCAA Individual Champion and won the Arnold Palmer Award as the country's top player, was excluded from the team. It left many wondering how you could leave a player with those kind of credentials off the 10-man roster."
How, indeed? Well, prior to this particular snub, Peterson made an appearance here on Devil Ball for offering up this gem of a quote:
"The top guys in college, the top 20 or 30 guys, can beat the top 20, 30 guys on the PGA Tour. Maybe with the exception of two or three guys who are constantly up there, like a Matt Kuchar or Luke Donald, those guys that are always there ... those top 20 college guys will beat those top 20 or 30 PGA Tour guys, if given the opportunity. They just don't have the opportunity."
Insane? Absolutely. But you've got to love the balatas on this kid. Unless, of course, you're one of those whose game is being called into question.
"You have to wonder if Peterson's post-round comments after that Nationwide event, where he said that there were a bunch of guys in college capable of regularly beating PGA Tour pros, rubbed some folks the wrong way," CBS Sports' Steve Elling wrote. "Still, even if he had said Gadhafi should be governor of New Jersey, he should have been a lock for the team."
It's an interesting point: is Peterson being reminded of his place in the world because he dared to speak out of turn? It's certainly possible, even likely, and if so, it'd be an unfortunate comment on the USGA and the world of American professional golf. We need more guys like Peterson, more guys who will step up and say what they believe no matter how ridiculous it is. Golf has gone as far as it can with the milquetoast personalities; it's possible to respect the game and its history while still remaining true to oneself.
Fortunately for Peterson, he'll get an immediate chance to make good on his prediction. As he noted on Twitter in the wake of the snub:
Get on it, John.