The NFL Draft upon us and all the big-name college football stars like Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney and Teddy Bridgewater are anxiously waiting to hear their names called to begin their NFL careers. While all of these players have elite skills, few are as polarizing as Mr. Clowney.
A physical specimen on the field, Clowney weighs in at 6-foot-5, 266 pounds. He has massive 10-inch hands to go along with an arm length of 34.5 inches. Not to mention, Clowney was clocked running a 4.53-second 40-yard dash during this year’s NFL Combine, faster than most of the running backs who posted a time.
What makes Clowney so polarizing are the reports that he doesn’t work as hard as he should. “He was OK,” Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier said. “His work habits are pretty good, they’re not quite like (Marcus) Lattimore, a Stephon Gilmore, Melvin Ingram, some of those guys, but when the ball is snapped he’s got something no one else has.”
With all this hype surrounding Clowney, we began to think … who is the Jadeveon Clowney of the PGA Tour?
One could make the case for Tiger Woods, simply based on his physical build and athleticism. John Daly also comes to mind, due to the fact that he probably spends more time partying than practicing. Bubba Watson says he’s never had a golf lesson in his life, crediting his success to sheer creativity and ability.
Here are five guys who make the game of golf look (much) easier than it is:
While Daly is known more for his lack of discipline on and off the course, he’s also a physical specimen. Tiger Woods famously told Daly once, “If I were as good as you, I wouldn’t need to practice.” That’s some pretty solid praise for a guy who hasn’t won in a decade. People tend to forget just how good Daly was when he first burst onto the scene in the early 1990s. Daly’s won two majors, put up distance numbers that were preposterous and had deft touch around the greens. Until his personal life and vices got the best of him, Daly was undoubtedly the future of golf.
Like Daly, Bubba Watson drives freakishly long. At the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in 2011, Bubba went driver-driver-putter and made eagle. The tee shot traveled 348 yards, the driver-off-the-deck approach shot went 305 yards. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading and watch.
Nobody is better at creating shots than Bubba. No one can visualize more than he can. It’s also arguable that no one on tour is as easily taken out of their zone as Bubba. Watson isn’t accused of having a less-than ideal work ethic, but he does have focus issues which sometimes can keep him from reaching his full potential. Either way, Watson always attracts large galleries when he plays, due in part to his unpredictability as well as his creativity.
A product of Kansas, Gary Woodland was an all-state basketball player in high school where his team won two state titles. He considered going to college to play basketball but opted instead for golf, a decision which clearly paid off for the two-time PGA Tour winner. Woodland stands at 6’1″ and 195 lbs., an opposing figure on the course. In 2007, his average driving distance was over 335 yards. Since joining the PGA Tour, he’s never averaged under 300 yards for a season.
DJ is an athletic freak. As a seventh grader, Johnson could palm a basketball and can still dunk one to this day. His commitment to fitness is unparalleled in the sport and that dedication, coupled with his insane natural ability, has made him one of the best players in the game without a major. He’s won eight times on tour and has come close in majors, holding the 54-hole lead at the 2010 U.S. Open and barely missing out on a playoff at the 2009 PGA Championship. DJ is without question one of the superior talents in the game today.
It’s hard to make a “best of” list in the golf world without including Tiger Woods. Woods was highly touted as an amateur, massively successful as a rookie, and has since become (arguably) the greatest player the game has ever seen. If it weren’t for Jack Nicklaus, there would be no argument. The great feats Woods pulled off early in his career were just short of inhuman. He blew the field away, winning by 15 strokes, at the 2000 U.S. Open. He was the only player under par for the week, finishing 12-under. The dominance of Woods is due in large part to his impeccable physique and laser focus. When he joined the PGA Tour in 1997, he was everything the NFL expects Jadeveon Clowney to be.
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