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"everyman" hero
Golf Hero: George McNeill
By Torleif Sorenson on 1/8/13
Unless you are a die-hard follower of the PGA Tour, you may not have heard of George McNeill. The west Florida native has had a long, winding, and sometimes-depressing road to the PGA Tour. McNeill has won twice on tour, including last year's Puerto Rico Open and, as a result, has been playing this week during the season-opening Hurricane Kapalua Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

But don't think Big George has gotten too big for his britches. "Steve from Seattle" can prove it.

As veteran golf writer Dave Shedloski explains, a golf enthusiast from Seattle identified only by his first name mistook a courtesy car as a shuttle to Kapalua on Friday morning. While Steve found himself in various stages of embarrassment, McNeill was still perfectly happy to give the gentleman a ride to the course - right up to the valet parking, in fact. And that is one sign of McNeill's admirable character.

Last fall, John Feinstein profiled McNeill's rise from oblivion and noted how McNeill was very happy and not at all depressed to be at Q-School in December of 2006. That attitude helped McNeill win Q-School, win the PGA Tour's Las Vegas event the following October, then cement his tour card for this season and next by winning the tour's Puerto Rico stop last March. But McNeill's proverbial feet are firmly planted in the ground. (Not a bad idea, given the winds at Kapalua this week.)

A monumentally wise man once said that a person who exalts himself will wind up humbled, but a person who maintains humility will be exalted by other people. McNeill clearly knows who he is and has not forgotten the personal depths from which he has emerged - a fine sign of humility. Consequently, "Steve from Seattle" is not the only golf enthusiast who has become a new George McNeill fan.

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Image via PGA Tour

[ comments ]
bducharm says:
Good for George. It's funny but most (not all) of the PGA Tour players are great guys. They are just guys like us!!!
mrcgamble says:
George is from the same town as I am (Ft. Myers, FL) and some of the old stories of him sneaking on "the Fort" (Fort Myers Country Club) are funny, although unbelievable. He always seems to make it back for the Coors Light Open held there and it is great to see him play. Glad he has his card and while not a household name there are plenty of followers.
GolfSmith7 says:
No good deed goes unnoticed eventually. Feel good story indeed.
mustang6560 says:
I could totally see myself attempting a "Steve from Seattle" move (wait, this "courtesy car" isn't a shuttle?), but it wouldn't be an accident :)
Stevesdaughter says:
"Steve from Seattle" is my father. He wants me to express his thanks to George for being so gracious that day. He enjoyed the story many times and it was a highlight of his vacation. He is curious how the author heard of it though?
[ post comment ]
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