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The Man Who Can Putt Like a Boy

The visitor makes a few attempts. The ball lurches to and fro, bumps against the tee a few times, and always settles back to the bottom, seeming almost to mock him there.

"That would drive me crazy," says an onlooker, a friend of Dory's who has stopped by.

It would drive the visitor crazy, too. As he puts the toy down, he realizes he probably doesn't have the dexterity required to get the ball onto the tee. Even if he did, he would never have the patience and the stubbornness to try it 500 times. And even if he did have the patience, or stubbornness, he would not have the optimism, after 499 misses, that made Faxon think he could succeed on the next attempt. The optimism, in other words, of a child.

Maybe, the visitor decides, if one wants to think like one of the world's best putters, or to putt like one, it might not be enough to try to copy Brad Faxon's thoughts.

You might have to be Brad Faxon.

THE FAXON FILE

CURRENT WORLD RANK: 32

PGA TOUR CAREER MONEY RANK: 20 ($11,441,276)

PGA TOUR VICTORIES: 7; Sony Open (2001), B.C. Open (2000, 1999), Freeport-McDermott Classic (1997), New England Classic (1992), The International (1992) and Buick Open (1991)

INTERNATIONAL PRO VICTORIES: Heineken Australian Open (1993)

THE MAJORS: Best finishes are tied for fifth in the PGA Championship (1995), tied for thirty-third in the U.S. Open (1994, 1989), seventh in the British Open (1994) and tied for ninth in the Masters (1993)

NATIONAL TEAMS: The Ryder Cup (1997, 1995); Dunhill Cup (1997); Walker Cup (1983)

AMATEUR RECORD: Winner of Fred Haskins, Golf magazine and NCAA Coaches Awards as nation's outstanding college golfer (1983); all-America selection at Furman (1982-83); winner of the New England Amateur (1980-81) and the Rhode Island Amateur (1979-80)

SIGNIFICANT STATS: Led PGA Tour in putting in 1996 with a putts-per-green-in-regulation average of 1.709, in 1999 with an average of 1.723 and 2000 when he set a then Tour record of 1.704

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