Notebook: Mahan motivated to get fit after belly stars in Golf Boys video

Hunter Mahan
Getty Images
Seeing himself in the "Golf Boys" video ptompted Hunter Mahan to work even harder on his physical fitness.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 | 7:48 p.m.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hunter Mahan had a good time making the ''Golf Boys'' video with Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson, and it now has more than 5 million views on YouTube. But it also helped serve up some motivation for Mahan.

Early in the video, it is not difficult to detect a slight bulge in his belly. And it's still a slightly sensitive subject.

''Two things,'' Mahan protested when it was brought up last week. ''I'm fitter than I was back then. And the pants were about a 28-inch waist. And I am not a 28-inch waist. They got all the clothes from Goodwill. As soon as I put them on, I said, 'Oh, boy.' I better get this coat on top of me. I don't want to be a fully Monty in front.''

He just looked fuller than he realized.

Mahan said some of his buddies in Dallas gave him some grief. Mahan was never out of shape, though seeing that video made him work even harder. A year later, whatever flab is now muscle. His waist is trimmer. His upper body is thicker. He is stronger, and he cares deeply about his fitness.

''Those are things that are good, because they motivate you,'' he said. ''I've tried to make it a priority and get in the best shape I can. I eat right. You look at (Rory) McIlroy and what he's done. In golf, it pays to be stronger. Over 30 tournaments a year, over 30 years of playing golf, it pays to take care of yourself. You see guys in their 40s, they start breaking down. They try to fix it, but it becomes difficult at that point.''

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD: Most players keep an eye on the top 50 in the world ranking as a major championship approaches. For Jeff Overton, the trick is to stay in the top 100.

Overton, who hasn't qualified for a major this year, has a spot waiting for him at the PGA Championship, which will be played Aug. 9-12 at Kiawah Island. The final major offers an exemption to all members of the most recent Ryder Cup team, provided they remain within the top 100 in the world on July 29.

Even though he tied for 17th last week at the Greenbrier Classic, Overton dropped to No. 96. Unless the PGA of America gives him an exemption -- as it did for Jerry Pate last year in Atlanta -- Overton has three weeks to stay inside the top 100.

Two other Ryder Cup players are in the same predicament -- Ross Fisher at No. 113 and Edoardo Molinari at No. 158.

PLAYING THEIR OWN AGE: To get a sense of how young golf is getting, Andy Zhang and Beau Hossler will be playing in the U.S. Junior Amateur, which starts next week at The Golf Club of New England.

It was only last month that Zhang, 14, became the youngest player in U.S. Open history at The Olympic Club.

Hossler, a 17-year-old going into his senior year of high school, briefly had the lead on Saturday at the U.S. Open, and only a sloppy finish kept him from being low amateur. Two weeks later, Hossler made the 36-hole cut in the AT&T National at Congressional.

Now they are back to playing against guys their own age. And keep this in mind -- while Hossler qualified for the U.S. Open last year, he didn't even reach the semifinals of the U.S. Junior.

Jordan Spieth won the U.S. Junior last year. A sophomore at Texas, he is too old to compete and plans to try PGA Tour qualifying later this year.

DIVOTS: Geoff Ogilvy has vanished from the golf scene since the U.S. Open. His oldest daughter starts school in San Diego this fall, meaning it no longer is practical for them to spend December in Australia with family. Instead, Ogilvy, his wife and three children have spent the last month in Melbourne, even though it's winter Down Under. ''I'm as far away from the PGA Tour as you can get,'' he said Tuesday. ... The John Deere Classic has a $4.6 million purse. That's the smallest among tournaments that offer full FedExCup points, and the prize money is less than two domestic tournaments that are part of the Fall Series. ... Steve Stricker made his 300th career cut at the Greenbrier Classic.

STAT OF THE WEEK: The winners of the Greenbrier Classic have been ranked No. 159 (Stuart Appleby), No. 224 (Scott Stallings) and No. 218 (Ted Potter Jr.).

FINAL WORD: ''The more different guys that win them, the more guys who think they can win them.'' -- Geoff Ogilvy, on 15 different players winning the last 25 majors.