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Former pro golfer and television personality David Feherty watches play during the PGA Championship at the Southern Hills Country Club on Aug. 12, 2007 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Former pro golfer and television personality David Feherty watches play during the PGA Championship at the Southern Hills Country Club on Aug. 12, 2007 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Usual Suspects

Without Woods, Feherty emerges as U.S. golf's favourite face Add to ...

David Feherty was thumbing through the bottomless shag rug of rough at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club this past week. "If it was a thread count, you could sleep on it," the CBS and Golf Channel wag jested on Saturday. Moments later the Irishman was buried in a Himalayan raspberry bush, plucking fruit one step ahead of "bears." As he emerged, it was with a branch stuck in his trousers.

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It might be accurate to say that, with Tiger Woods healing his knee and alienating his few remaining friends, Feherty is the most popular face in American golf at the moment. Phil Mickelson's a passing spectre; the young guns of the U.S. golf program have failed to resonate. But the former pro golfer connects on TV and print (his bestselling book was Somewhere in Ireland a Village is Missing an Idiot). Whether it's being personal about his alcoholism or daffy in a raspberry bush, he's a reason to turn on the TV.

The folks at Golf Channel clearly feel that way, giving Feherty an eponymous half-hour interview show running Tuesday nights on the NBC specialty channel. Feherty is like the man: brutally honest, funny, maddeningly scattered. Feherty can be fawning, but he's invariably funny and usually asks the questions people want answered.

Plus he gets access that other journalists would kill for. Talking to Feherty, NBA analyst Charles Barkley decried current African-American youth culture. "Black kids are brainwashed. They think the only way they can be successful is through athletics and entertainment." In another episode Feherty described how Tom Watson confronted him about his boozing in PEI.

In another show, NBC analyst Johnny Miller admits he might have been head hunting a bit when he started doing golf analysis. A deadpan Don Cheadle declared he was getting fat and doing heroin to play Miles Davis in his next movie. This Tuesday, Feherty gets fellow Irishman Rory McIlroy, hot after his U.S. Open win and petulant performance at the Open Championship.

To cram enough Feherty in the half hour, the show has a rushed quality at times, and Feherty himself must avoid contracting Gary McCord disease (the tendency to self caricature). But until someone on-course captures the American public again, golf has a genial companion in Feherty.





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