Star amateur golfer's dad: Waiters are more productive than Tiger Woods

Will Maverick McNealy really not turn pro. USATSI

Maverick McNealy is the No. 2 player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. He lost out on his second straight Haskins Award (golf's Heisman) to his pal Beau Hossler earlier this week. His professional future looks incredibly bright except for one thing.

He might not ever turn pro.

The Stanford junior, who said Arnold Palmer gave him the coolest moment of his life at the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year, would be the first Haskins Award winner to ever not turn pro. Again, we are talking about the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world. Here's the Wall Street Journal.

Less than a year from his expected graduation, McNealy said he is seriously considering passing on pro golf for a career in business, a decision that would be virtually unparalleled in the modern world of big-money sports.

"I still don't really know what I'm going to do with my life," he told the WSJ.

Stunning stuff. McNealy is the son of a billionaire. His father, Scott, co-founded Sun Microsystems and was, hilariously, the richest person on the course when Maverick qualified for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst years ago.

"Part of the challenge for Mav and the thing I worry about most," Scott told the Wall Street Journal, "is will he get intellectually bored after three years, trying to spend eight hours a day on the range, playing six-hour rounds and traveling around like a gypsy? If you are an entertainer, it's counterproductive from the standpoint that people stop doing anything and just sit and watch entertainers. The guy serving you food at a golf tournament is in so many ways doing more good and moving the capitalist ball forward than Tiger Woods."


I see his point, but I also think there's some room in there for what Woods to inspire folks to greater things. Let's not ignore that. Woods has inspired a generation of aspiring entertainers, yes, but he has also inspired other folks in other industries (myself included).

The quotes keep coming too.

The elder McNealy recalled a conversation they had late last year. Maverick said if he were to turn pro, merely winning a few tournaments wouldn't be worth it. His father named a golfer who had won two major titles but wasn't a top-10 player and asked if that kind of career would satisfy him. The answer was no. What if he could become the next Jordan Spieth? "He said, 'Well dad, I'm not even sure that does it for me,'" Scott McNealy said, "so he's wrestling with it."

I do understand the perspective, and I think it's kind of cool. We lionize pro sports, and we really should not. McNealy seems to understand that the world does not revolve around the PGA Tour. There are worlds outside of the one constructed by Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. Still, that doesn't make it any less shocking.

"My dad always tells me, 'To whom much is given, much is expected,'" he told the WSJ. "I'm given a huge amount of opportunities, and I feel like it's my duty to do the most that I can with them. I'm still trying to figure out how."

Good luck, kid. Though it really doesn't sound like you'll need it.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories