I’ve met Fuzzy Zoeller a few times and he was always nice.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Fuzzy’s Masters victory. And, this year will be Fuzzy’s last Masters.
LOUISVILLE, KY – It’s been 30 years since Frank Urban “Fuzzy” Zoeller won the Masters. And he will celebrate this year by playing in the event for the last time with his daughter Gretchen as caddie.
Winning the coveted Green Jacket in 1979 helped define Zoeller’s career as one of the best players and personalities in the game. When asked why this will be his last Masters, he responds in his trademark humorous way.
“Arnold Palmer asked me on the first tee last year ‘Why the hell was I still playing?’ I thought to myself, good point. Why am I still playing? It’s no fun hitting fairway woods into the green,” says the 57-year-old Zoeller.
Walking side by side with him down the Augusta fairways this April will be daughter Gretchen. Why was she picked to tote dad’s PowerBilt staff bag and clubs? “Because she told me she wanted to,” answers Fuzzy, who rarely lets his serious side show. “It should be fun.”
Zoeller has three daughters and one son – Sunnye (30), Heidie (28), Gretchen (25) and Miles (20). Gretchen is an accomplished golfer in her own right and was on the golf team at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
Fuzzy is the only modern-era golfer to win the Masters as a first-time player in the event. The landmark victory was accomplished with clubs made by PowerBilt, the brand still owned by the Hillerich and Bradsby Co., the same company that makes venerable Louisville Slugger bats and equipment as well as Bionic Gloves.
Thirty years ago, Zoeller’s clubs were PowerBilt’s Citation forged irons and persimmon woods. The original bright orange PowerBilt bag he used in the ’79 Masters remains on display at Zoeller’s Covered Bridge Golf Course, which is near his home in New Albany, Ind., just outside of Louisville.
Today, he plays with PowerBilt’s Citation FZ1 irons and driver – clubs he helped design. The FZ1 irons are cavity-backed and cast from 1021 carbon steel. The big thumper is a 460cc titanium driver with strategic internal and external weighting. The bag remains the highly visible orange iconoclastic PowerBilt staff bag.
“It’s funny how life comes full circle,” says Zoeller. “Basically, I never start what I can’t finish, and there’s lots of golf left to play on the Champions Tour with PowerBilt.”
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The Masters will certainly miss Fuzzy. I can’t wait for this year @ Augusta! I saw that they’re making a live web stream available of The Masters on CBSSports.com. Here’s a link with some info and a place to register so they can let you know when the video is available: