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What do pro tour golfers owe fans?

There for a month recently, Jason Dufner was on TV more than that gecko, winning two tournaments and contending in a third and taking down more than three million bucks.

Through it all, he showed about as much emotion as a doorknob. That's just him. He doesn't walk, he ambles. He waggles the club a lot before hitting, waiting for the mood to strike him. He rolls in a 30-foot putt and raises a hand to acknowledge the applause but never changes the expression on his face.

If they were winning over $3 million in a month, most people would have to be tied down and gagged.

Dufner's swing coach, Chuck Cook, said, "Socially, he's never been real comfortable."

That's not a good thing when you're playing in front of thousands, with millions more watching on television, but Dufner's golf game speaks for him.

Is that enough?

You can't ask him to be something that he isn't. If he doesn't smile his way around like Phil Mickelson, it's obviously because that's not his nature.

But it's difficult for fans to connect when he gives them only golf.

What do tour golfers owe us?

Entertainment, either in the form of excellent golf or in excellent golf that is enlivened by emotions, by twisted countenances and body language and air punches and smiles and shaken heads and whacking the turf.

The excellent golf goes only so far. Beyond that, we need a little show biz. Golf spectators invest a lot of time, money, energy and patience, and usually don't get a great parking place. They want to see some golf, see the beauty of the course, maybe get an autograph and they expect to be entertained.

When Tiger Woods is away, golf loses a lot of its appeal. Even after his personal stumble and his injuries, he's still a star of enormous magnitude. More than one person has told me they only watch golf on TV when he's playing. He doesn't smile a lot, either, but you can see the fire and passion in his game.

Behind him, there's too much parity. Nobody won more than two tournaments last year. That makes it hard to develop stars, names that excite the public. That's one reason the personalities are so important.

Nancy Lopez, the former queen of women's golf, said recently of Taiwanese sensation Yani Tseng, who has won five major championships at the age of 23, "She's playing happy golf."

That hits the nail on the head.

We could use more happy golf.

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