Off the record: Would PGA Tour pros try PEDs if they were legal?

Tom Pennington

One anonymous respondent tells Golf Magazine that ‘literally every guy out here’ would pound down performance-enhancing drugs if the PGA Tour allowed it.

As Alex Rodriguez continues to fight for his baseball legacy (sorry, A-Rod; the first line of your eventual epitaph has been written and it revolves around the phrase, "illegal performance-enhancing drugs"), several anonymous PGA Tour pros said in a recent Golf Magazine survey they would "be tempted to try" PEDs if the tour allowed them.

While 60 percent of the 50 guys questioned answered hell, "No," one pro told the publication not to believe the polling numbers.

"I don’t care what they tell you," said the golfer who shall remain nameless, "literally every guy out here would."

No data surfaced as to how many of Vijay Singh’s confederates would ingest l’eau de Bambi if given the chance.

Tiger Woods, to no one’s surprise, figured in a few of the queries Golf Magazine put to the players. Many of his colleagues, when the cameras are rolling, contend Woods will break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major titles, but the off-the-record tally tells another story.

A resounding 74 percent of responders believe the 79-time tour winner will come up short when he finally hangs up his spikes. Some 26 percent believe Woods, who’s been stuck on 14 grand slam victories since the 2008 U.S. Open, will win the five or more he needs to overtake Nicklaus. The majority put him down for winning two more (28 percent), three more (18 percent), and four additional majors (20 percent).

In another Tiger-related question, Woods’ and Phil Mickelson’s caddies (Joe LaCava and Jim "Bones" Mackay, respectively) finished in a tie for first (14 percent) under the heading, "best caddie on tour." One unnamed player did mention, however, that "The No. 1 player in the world generally has the best caddie."

Tiger's ex-looper, Steve Williams, now on the bag for Masters champ Adam Scott, finished a distant fourth, at 10 percent.

Woods was not directly cited in a question regarding on-course temperament, though long-time Tiger watchers may be forgiven if he came to mind when they read that 48 percent of players pleaded guilty to having broken a club "in a fit of rage." While 52 percent claimed they had not, one anonymous player said, "Yes. Many, many times," while another copped to "Once a week."

While Tiger and many of his A-list brethren will not be teeing it up at this week’s Humana Challenge, several participants in the former Bob Hope Classic featured in one of the survey’s more off-beat questions. Gary Woodland and James Driscoll each earned 14 percent of the vote as to "Which tour pro would you want in your corner if push came to shove?"

Ernie Els, apparently belying his nickname, "The Big Easy," was the voters’ choice for strong man, topping the panel with 18 percent. Els is not in the field this week at PGA West though Boo Weekley and Pat Perez -- garnering six percent and four percent, respectively -- are. Some 44 percent chose the nebulous "Other." More on the survey here.

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