Alone in the comfortable shade of an equipment trailer perched above the TPC Twin Cities driving range Tuesday, Fuzzy Zoeller tried to relax. The only problem was every cart or passerby had to stop for a chat.
How ya doin' Fuzz?
How's the vodka biz?
You better believe Zoeller welcomed every last greeting.
"The moment I stop having fun out here, when I force myself to have to pack that bag, it's time to go," said Zoeller, standing not far from his sunglasses-wearing rubber duck headcover.
As he prepares to play his 10th 3M Championship this weekend, the Fun Meter will rise a notch Wednesday. In a 3M Championship pro-am first, two randomly-selected players will join Zoeller for 18 holes as winners of the "Fuzzy Needs a Fourth" contest.
"It's something [tournament director] Hollis [Cavner] did at the event down in Houston and we had an absolute blast," said Zoelle. "Something different. I don't mind a bit. I'm going to treat them like royalty."
For all of his PGA Tour accomplishments, Miller Barber had a resurgence after he became eligible for the PGA Senior Tour.
Barber, now 81, joined the 50-and-over circuit in 1981, the year after it formed. He went on to win 24 times after turning 50, a nice compliment to a PGA Tour career that featured seven top 10 finishes in major championships including all four in 1969.
He's in Minnesota this week as part of the Greats of Golf event associated with the 3M Championship. After sharing the driving range with a few of today's Champions Tour players Barber could only laugh.
"They have such better equipment," Barber said. "They play on better courses and score so much better. Better everything both on this tour and the regular tour."
John Cook and Russ Cochran, who finished in the top five on the Champions Tour money list last season, both withdrew from the 3M Championship. Andy Bean also pulled out.
It paved the way for alternates David Peoples, Sonny Skinner and Bobby Clampett.
Willie Wood and Lance Ten Broeck each fired a 5-under-par 66s at Victory Links in Blaine to win the 3M Championship qualifying event and secure spots in the 81-player field. Kirk Hanefeld (67), Joel Edwards (67), Bob Niger (68) and Bruce Vaughan (68) also earned spots via the qualifier.