Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Senior Tour Could Use More McCord

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Senior Tour Could Use More McCord

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Woods, Times-Union sports columnist

ST. AUGUSTINE -- During the first round, Gary McCord hit a tee shot that skipped across a lake and stopped a few feet from an alligator.

Most people would have steered clear of the gator and waited for a ruling.

McCord is not most people.

He is the guy who in his biography in the Senior PGA Tour media guide lists one of his interests as "giving a name to each age spot on my body;" the guy who when asked if any specific event has had a huge impact on his life, said, "My birth;" the guy who while doing color commentary at the 1994 Masters, made the "bikini wax" joke.

So, of course, McCord goes and talks to the gator.

The gator hisses, then eventually moves along, allowing McCord to hit a shot onto the green, miss a putt and turn to fans and say: "I probably should have let the him bite off my left arm. Probably would be putting better."

Two days later -- after making a run at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf title, then hitting a ball into the water on No. 16 and dropping back to fifth -- he has a simple explanation for why he didn't let a sunning gator sun.

"I'm an idiot," he says. "I'm a card-carrying idiot."

Whatever you call him -- and the folks at Augusta apparently agree with that assessment because he hasn't been back -- he might be exactly the kind of character the Senior Tour needs to make its fan-friendly ideas work.

He tries to entertain, whether he is in the broadcast booth or on the leaderboard. He jokes with fans. He does clinics. He rarely rushes past a crowd, which is why you believe him when he does it after yesterday's round, saying to fans: "I'm late for an airplane. I'm sorry."

On his way to the clubhouse, he explains why he loves what the Senior Tour is attempting.

"We're under the same umbrella as the PGA Tour, but we've got to market our tour totally differently," he said. …

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