How much does Pat Bates love his hair? The golden-maned Tour journeyman is forgoing $15,000 a year by not wearing headgear bearing the logo of his sponsor, Cleveland Golf. There may come a day when Bates's celebrated mullet goes under cover, but it won't be because he has money on the brain. "You might see me with a visor somewhere down the line," he tells SI. "I guess it depends on course conditions."
From Sweden, the land that bore Jesper Parnevik, comes the zaniest item at last week's PGA Merchandise Show, a revolutionary putter called The One (below). Retailing for $170, The One presents an entirely new way to putt: one-handed pendulum style, with a club that has a 23-inch shaft. Oh, the USGA is going to love this.
Ping zing! Several leading manufacturers told SI they are likely to follow the lead of Ping and abandon the PGA Show.
Ty Tryon may have missed the cut at the Phoenix Open, but he didn't leave empty-handed. Part of his booty for teeing it up in the Monday pro-am was a $500 gift certificate to Dillard's department store. With a nod to his girlfriend, Lauren Bedford, he said, "We won't have any trouble spending this."
Charles Howell had an old acquaintance on his bag last week, Augusta townsman Bucky Moore. A longtime caddie at Augusta National, Moore, 55, has 28 Masters on his résumé as well as cameos on Tour with K.J. Choi, Grant Waite and Fulton Allem. Moore and Howell go way back—all the way to Augusta's West-minister School, which CH3 attended with Moore's son Ricky, who went on to be the starting point guard on Connecticut's 1999 national-champion basketball team. Bucky and Howell became friendly during the latter's frequent reconnaissance missions to the National as a youngster, and Moore was offered his new gig after Howell's first choice, Tony Navarro, decided to carry Howell's bag only part-time while remaining true to longtime boss Greg Norman. The plan is for Moore to work about a dozen tournaments for Howell this year, including a little invitational this spring in their hometown. "I'm really looking forward to the Masters," Moore says. "Charles will have a real good shot there."