Long known for the fine lines of his tailored duds and the graceful arc of his swing, Steve Elkington moonlights as an artist. "I draw for myself and my friends," says Elkington, who beat Fred Funk in a playoff to win last week's Buick Challenge, his ninth Tour title. As a kid in Inverell, Australia, he excelled as a painter and was offered an art scholarship to the University of Sydney. Instead he became a golfer, leaving little time for art. "When I do find time for it, I play better," he says. "Golfers can get caught up in trying to control everything, but when I draw, I let it flow. I play my best when that reckless feeling spills into my game."
His health has often drawn attention. In March he had sinus surgery for the second time. In May he caught viral meningitis and lost 20 pounds. A pinched nerve in his neck knocked him out of the British Open. "Now that I'm back," he says, "what's to keep me from winning my last three and heading full blast into next year?"
Note the bearded fellow on the cloud below. "I considered captioning him," Elkington says. "I think he might be saying, 'Hey, Elk, I'm going to look after you next season.' "