In September, the Greens, who have custody of Ellen's two children, had their first child, a boy whom they named Hunter. Ellen was happy the baby was a boy. If it had been a girl, Ken wanted to name her Kendell. "He has quite an ego." says Ellen.
Bill Sander, who has struggled for a decade on the Tour since winning the 1976 U.S. Amateur, admires Green's ego. "I was always taught that if you were too confident, people wouldn't like you." says Sander. "That's where Kenny is so strong. He doesn't worry about what people think. He doesn't suck up to everyone's expectations of what a Tour player should be." For several years Green traveled with two dogs and a ferret.
Green began 1989 by making a birdie on the first hole of the Tournament of Champions but finished 17 strokes behind the winner. Steve Jones. Can Green, seemingly so unlikely a person to have made it to the Tour at all, become one of the sport's dominant players? His answer is that he plans to play this year the same way he played last year—by going for broke at every opportunity. He would like to win more and, in fact, expects to. Says fellow pro Scott Verplank, "He plays to his personality,"—and that explains a great deal.
Last summer, while playing in the last group of the day, Green stood in the fairway of the 18th hole in the third round of the Canadian Open, enjoying the feeling of a one-shot lead. He surveyed his second shot on the par-5. The green was protected by a large pond and menacing bunkers. "What do I got?" Green asked his caddie.
"Two-fifty into a two-club wind." said cousin Joe.
If there's anyone who wouldn't lay up and pitch on in that situation, let them come forward now. "No problem." said Green, pulling his driver from the bag. He knocked the ball on the green and two-putted from 30 feet for a 4. Buoyed by that stirring birdie, he went out and won the title by a single shot.