David Lynn is playing in his first Masters this week and he shot a four-under 68, good enough for second place at the moment. While the 39-year-old Englishman is a rookie on the PGA Tour, he’s not a stranger to leaderboards at majors — though this is only his third one. Last year he was runner-up to Rory McIlroy at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, which was also his first start in the U.S.
Lynn, who is a must-follow on Twitter, is a funny fellow and quite the prankster. He also enjoys planking and going into his caddie Wayne Husselbery’s iPhone and writing obscene updates on his Facebook (uh, they’re not appropriate for this forum!)
I sat down with Lynn at Doral in March and he told me about some of his best pranks, like the time he changed Ian Poulter’s license plate from “IAN P” to “TAMPAX.” My favorite one might be when he set up a fake dating profile and messed with his caddie, though.
Check out the Q&A and get to know Lynn.
Q: You finished second at the PGA Championship last year, earning $865,000.00 which was enough to get your card on the PGA Tour for this season.
David Lynn: Yep, I did better than 155 players. If it’s your week in golf, it’s your week sometimes. Obviously, going into that week, my game felt nice, but even still, you’re playing in a major and it has a totally different feel. I managed to make the cut, which was the first hurdle you want to get over.
Then I put together two 68s over the weekend, and shooting the 68 on the Saturday, I was really, really relaxed. That jumped me up to about 10th and I thought, I could have a good finish this week. I tried to get in the same frame of mind on Sunday as I did Saturday. I started out playing nicely on the Sunday. I was surprised really how relaxed I was.
I remember standing on the 10th tee and going, alright, this is going to be interesting to see how my body reacts to this final nine holes being so high up on the leaderboard because you sort of half expect yourself to drop a few shots from nerves, but it was the opposite, I was picking them up.
Q: You’ve played for a number of years on the European Tour. Why did you end up deciding to come and play in America?
DL: I’ve been a pro for 16-17 years, so if I would have tried to come over here before now had I wanted to come over here.
Q: Why not?
DL: I’m a bit of a homebird. I don’t like being away from home for long periods of time. Just that really. I was quite happy playing the European Tour. Then all of a sudden I didn’t have to go through the qualifying school because of (my finish) at the PGA and my initial thought was that I wasn’t going to come over here because I believed that the European Tour was what made me what I am and I should stay there to support them. But talking to more people who said, why wouldn’t you?
Q: Why and when did you change your mind?
DL: I’m turning 40 this year, probably not going to be playing golf for a lot longer — you never know. It was an opportunity that presented itself, and basically, I went full circle on it and thought, well, why not? And here I am.
Probably around the Race to Dubai when I was talking to more and more guys…and then the schedule came out and it fit kind of nicely for me to play the first half of the year in the U.S. and then I can go back and get my numbers up in Europe towards the end of the year. I just came out here and thought, let’s see where the year takes me and go from there. I got my head around being away for two months and spending most of the year away. But I have to say, I have loved being out here.
Q: What’s been coming to America been like for you?
DL: It’s been good, it’s been a surprise actually. My initial expectations were that the players were quite cold, but not through experience — just through hearing other snippets from people. Basically, I heard they were cold and you don’t go out with people for dinner in the evenings and stuff like that. I have to say I’ve found the American guys fine and very forthcoming.
Q: What’s the best part about coming to America?
DL: Well, for me, after 15-16 years playing in Europe, it’s a whole new environment and it just gets your juices going again because it’s all new. Things get mundane out here sometimes, don’t they?
Q: Your best finish as a PGA Tour member/rookie was T4 at the Honda, where there was a cold front and it felt more like England than Florida. Did that help?
DL: It appears to be the case. The Americans at the moment have only seen me for instance in two tournaments and there’s been wind present. I was actually just thinking, as it stands, I’ve only played seven tournaments in America and I’ve had two top-fives. I didn’t realize that until today. So that’s a stat I wouldn’t mind to keep it going.
Q: What’s the hardest part about coming out here?
DL: Just being away from home for such a long period of time and living out of a suitcase because I don’t have a base here. I know the courses (on the European Tour) and they feel familiar because I’ve played them that many times. I know how they play and if the wind blows, it’ll play tough or you know even if the wind blows, the scoring will still be good. It’s nice to know that sometimes.
For instance, turning up at the Honda (a few weeks ago), it was the first time I’d done this — I had a look at what the scoring was like the year before. I had an idea of what the course was like and obviously it looked pretty tough. I saw the cut was one-over. Or I turn up at La Quinta and all the guys keep saying, just go deep all week. The cut was 10-under.
The other thing is I don’t know what courses tend to fit me. Someone’s advice to me — Rose’s caddie (Mark Fulcher) said, pick the courses that suit your game. Robert Garrigus said to me that Torrey is really long. I’m not particularly long. So that was sort of one that I figured it’s probably not for me but it was the second week out, I can’t fly all the way out here and play a week and have the next week off, so I said, what the heck, just play. I did OK there. I finished thirty-something.
Q: What are the key differences between the European Tour and PGA Tour?
DL: They look after the players more out here. They certainly all geared about making the players’ lives as easy as possible, which is, well, we’re all just spoiled really. You’ve gotta be careful that you don’t get that used to it because it’s not forever. You don’t have to want for nothing. You land at an airport and you have a car waiting. The locker rooms absolutely everything is done for you. You just have to drop off your clothes in the locker room and it all gets done for you. You have people who come up to you and give you their card and say, If there’s anything I can do to help you and make your life out here whatever, and there are lots of little perks that come with playing on the PGA Tour. You get credit with various companies to use their services.
Q: You stayed in the same hotel as your caddie Wayne Husselberry earlier this year quite a bit, why was that?
DL: Well, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my caddie at the moment. I’ve got to try and help him find his feet, as well. Coming out here, he’s 52 years old and he’d never driven in a foreign country and he was bricking it about doing that. For starters, he couldn’t hire a car on his own, so I had to be picking him up and chauffeuring him around. I’ve been needing to stay by him.
Q: Why can’t he hire a car?
DL: He’s scared of driving on the other side of the road. I’ve had to seriously encourage him and say you’re going to need to drive for yourself. So he’s finally got over this hurdle now. I’ve said to him, “I’ve done my bit to get you going. You’re going to have to look after yourself.”
Q: Tell us why you have a pink travel bag.
DL: It makes sense. No one else will probably dare have one, so I might as well have one. When you get off the plane, all of a sudden 20 golf bags come out, I don’t have to keep looking through all the black ones to see which one is mine. Just grab the pink one!
Q: What’s been your favorite event so far?
DL: Phoenix. (Waste Management Phoenix Open)
Q: Even though you missed the cut?
DL: Well, I actually tweeted after I missed the cut that I was devastated …no, I think I wrote something like, that’s gotta be my best ever missed cut by one because that tournament just rocked. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. It needs to be done somewhere else, like the Irish Open.
The 16th hole is just so much different than what anything you’ll come across in golf. To actually stand on the tee and get heckled — it does put a bit of pressure on you, but if you deal with it in the right way, it’s a nice pressure. It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and you really want to hit a good shot.
Even if you’re doing rubbish, you want to get on there and hit a good shot and you want to make 2. I made 2 and turned around and put my hand to my ear and everybody just screamed even louder and I walked off with a massive smile on my face because I did that. It’s sort of the memory that is right at the forefront of my golf. Just making a 2 on a par-3 like that and I’ve got loads of good memories, but that was a total different experience. It’s like teeing off at St. Andrews for the first time, you get goosebumps. That’s what the 16th at Phoenix is — a modern day version of that.
Q: What was it like to birdie the 16th hole in the second round?
DL: I managed to hit it to 6 feet and knock it in on Friday. The first day I hit a shot to about 30 feet. It was on the green, so I didn’t get booed. And then I rolled it about eight feet past. There was quite a bit of pressure on that putt coming back, but I knocked it in.
Q: Did the crowd yell anything at you that stood out?
DL: They didn’t really have anything to go with on me, except, ‘Welcome to the 16th, Day-vid. You’ve never been anywhere like this before, Day-vid. Don’t miss the green, Day-vid.’ I mean, if I could have shouted back at them, I would have said, ‘Only my mom calls me David.
Q: You’re known as a prankster, and you told me about a funny one you pulled on your caddie earlier this year during the Farmers Insurance Open. How did that go down? [Ed. note: Lynn has never heard of the MTV Show Catfish or Manti T’eo.]
DL: My caddie Wayne is on the dating website, plentyoffish.com. But here’s why I decided to do it is because he was annoying me. He kept telling me about these women. He’d spend all night just chatting to random people that he’d never even met.
Basically, I decided to set up a random profile. I know his likes and dislikes in a woman, so the profile I set up basically just ticked every box that he liked. Ideally, he’d like her to play golf, like food and drink, non-smoker, athletic, etc. So I ticked all the boxes there and of course the age as well was right — someone in their late 40s.
Then, I went on Google and put in ‘attractive woman in her 40s’ and went through the pictures until I decided to pick a picture where…he does like a pair of boobs, so I picked one that ticked the box.
We had separate apartments for that week in San Diego and he had just cooked dinner. We were sitting there watching TV and I had set up this whole profile right under his nose and I decided to send the first message to him as I sat there. If you could’ve seen my face as I sent it; I was just chewing on my lip trying not to laugh. Then his reaction when it came through — to say the least, he was happy.
I think I sent him a message that was like, “Hi Wayne, I just checked out your profile and you look like the right sort of guy for me. Tell me a bit about yourself.”
Once he got over the shock of how attractive she looked, he sent a message back and said, “Hi, I’m Wayne, I live in such-and-such and I travel a lot, blah blah blah…” I just sort of exchanged a few messages with him, but I felt bad, so I kept it going for that evening. After I went back to my apartment, I let the penny drop, so I wasn’t there with him.
I know what his face would have looked like. He would have been swearing a lot. He did swear in a message to me. But at least I didn’t keep it going.
Q: What else you got?
DL: The first ever week that Wayne worked for me, I finished fourth in Abu Dhabi, which was a big tournament with a strong field. That evening, one of the cads (caddies) came up to Wayne and said to him, “Oh, nice of you to replace the divots today on the course.”
And Wayne said, “Whatcha mean? I’ve been replacing the divots.”
The guy said, “I’ve been watching you on TV all afternoon and you missed a few divots, you never put them back.” And he said, “I’m sure I put them all back,” but he said, “No, you didn’t, I saw it with my own two eyes.
Wayne comes to me the next day and says, “Lynny, I was putting the divots back, wasn’t I?” And I said, “I don’t know, to be honest with you.” He said, “I was being accused of not putting the divots back.”
Then I went to the Tour office and spoke to one of the girls in there and I asked for a piece of European Tour letterhead paper, please? Which I had to beg for. I got the paper and the envelope. I then wrote a letter — pretending to have come from the Tour about Wayne not replacing the divots on the course and that I was fined a thousand pounds for it. I had that letter and I showed a few of the lads and they were all loving it.
I actually didn’t give it to Wayne because it was his first week and I thought it was a bit mean. Then I showed him the letter the following week and he laughed and said, “You should’ve given it to me.” I can’t believe after all the effort I went through to do it that I didn’t go — it was not like me.
Q: You and Ian Poulter go way back to his Challenge Tour and European Tour days. Any pranks you pulled on him?
DL: Poulter had just treated himself to a new Ferrari (in 2003). He rolled up to the Wales Open in it and he was parking it in reception every night. On Saturday evening I’d been out with Roe-ey (Mark Roe) and as we drove to the underground parking, Poulter’s ferrari was there, backed into a space and we were like, oh, he’s finally decided to park his car underneath.
We looked at each other and nodded and we got a marker pen and went and sat behind his car because we were going to deface his number plate, which at the time, was “Ian P.” I don’t know which one of us it was, but we sat there for about ten minutes just looking at it and one of us had the brainwave of turning it into “TAMPAX.”
It was the easiest plate to turn into “TAMPAX” because it was like, done for you. It just looked absolutely beautiful and you could see him driving home because you don’t have a boot on this Ferrari, so you have no reason to go around the back of the car or anything.
We just foresaw him driving off with “TAMPAX” written on the car. He then went out and won the Wales Open, but we had started telling a few people the following day and someone actually went and told him. Poulter actually said, I wish he hadn’t told me, it was that funny.
He actually got his own back in a few week later. I was in my car up in Scotland and my reg was “D LYNN” and they changed my front number plate to “Dizzy Nob.” I drove about ten miles from the hotel one day to the golf course and as I was driving, I saw all these marshals that were looking at the front of my car and I thought, this is weird. So of course when I got out, I saw this “Dizzy Nob,” which was good.
Q: You mentioned a story that involved fellow Tour pro and Englishman Mark Roe and sheep. Please share.
DL: There was a massive potted plant in reception (of the hotel). I managed to get three other guys to help me lift it onto a luggage trolley and then we carted it down to Roey’s room after I’d seen him going out. We got it into his room and it absolutely filled the entrance to the room.
Then, there were about 12 wooden sheep in reception for some reason. When the reception person disappeared, I’d run in and grab this flock of sheep and I took them to Roey’s room and put them in all different places. There was one on the toilet, one in the bathtub, one sat on a chair reading a book with his sunglasses and a few of them in the bed. One of them stood on the floor with Roey’s trainers on. We didn’t have camera phones then because now we would have straightaway taken pictures of it, but that’s how long ago it was.
I remember walking into the locker room the following day, and all I could hear was Roey telling the story to someone. And this is absolute gospel truth — I was laughing listening to him tell the story and I walked around the corner and said, “Morning!”
As soon as he saw me, he knew it had been me, and I said, “Hey Roey, you need to be careful, it’s a jungle out there!” And he was actually telling Tiger Woods the story.
This was in Germany years ago — Tiger used to play in the Deutsche Bank (Players Championship of Europe) out there. I’d guess this was like in ’99 or 2001.
Q: What’s the best prank you’ve ever pulled?
DL: One of the best things I’ve done more recently, probably two years ago, is emptying my friend Jimmy Bullard’s house — he’s a footballer and a bit of a jokester, as well, but he has no limits to his jokes. He ended up moving pretty instantly because that’s how it is in football.
The house he was renting with all his furniture was still there and one of the other guys had the keys to look after it. One day, this mutual friend says to me, there’s a big TV in the front room andI quite fancy it. Will you help me carry it across the road?
I said, yeah, that’s the sort of thing Jimmy would do. What else does he have in there? He said, well, it’s fully furnished. So I said, I’m going to get a van and empty it. Sure enough, I got a van and I emptied the house. I left him his bed. I spent about two hours.
My mate actually has a video of me carrying his bed down the stairs. It took some effort. It wasn’t a massive house. He’s a traveler, so he doesn’t put loads and loads of stuff in, but all the kitchen cupboards were full. I emptied it all in bags and threw it away.
Q: What about the rest of the stuff?
DL: Oh, that’s all in my house. Every time he rings me, I go lie in one of his beds I’ve got and I just tell him where I am.
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)