Does Tim (Lumpy) Herron (above left), the big-hitting 26-year-old rookie who came out of nowhere to win the Honda Classic, live up to his nickname? The original, Frank Bank, who played Clarence (Lumpy) Rutherford (above right) in Leave It to Beaver from 1958 to '63 and again in the sequel from '85 to '89, thinks so.
"I've met hundreds of guys called Lumpy, and very few of them really deserve the name," says the 53-year-old Bank, an occasional golfer. "But the way this kid Herron held on down the stretch, showing a lot of guts after dunking it in the water on the par-3 17th, he absolutely deserves to be a Lumpy."
International Management Group, which handles Herron, already is trading on the name. Proclaiming that "the world loves Lumpy," IMG president Mark McCormack has jacked up Herron's fee for daily outings to $10,000 from $2,500. A Late Night with David Letterman spot has been discussed, and according to IMG's Charley Moore, "Offers have literally poured in. People have taken to this Lumpy thing."
That another Lumpy is a successful jock doesn't surprise the genuine article. Bank, now a broker who as one of the country's foremost authorities on municipal bonds hosts a weekly show on CNN radio, says his character always—well, almost always—showed plenty of athletic ability. In Leave It to Beaver, Lumpy was a star shot-putter and an all-state lineman ("a block of granite," he says) on Mayfield High's state championship football team. Lumpy didn't play golf, though, until the series was revived. Then, Bank adds, "Lumpy was a complete hack."