Dick Harmon: Zac Blair following in his father's footsteps

Published: Monday, April 18 2011 8:00 p.m. MDT

Zac finished the year with a UGA player performance rating of 20.31, far ahead of Kirk Siddens at 15.11 and Stu Gold’s 14.45. For the second-straight year he earned UGA Player of the Year. Zac is only the third player ever, and first since Todd Barker in 1992-93, to win the award two consecutive years. Kurt Bosen, 1984-85, was the other.

"Thing is, both Jimmy and Zac are little in stature as teens," Mayberry said. "Zac isn't more than a-buck-30 and Jimmy was just as small. But boy, can they play. And can they putt. Jimmy has had his PGA Tour card for I think a year. And he's been on the verge of making the Senior Tour."

At Fox Hollow over the weekend, head professional Rick Roberts lamented the absence of Zac at his amateur event due to the conflict with the Cougar Classic.

"He always plays good here," Roberts said. "Jimmy always played this place so well and he's the same way. He has a knack of really whipping it around here. He does everything right. He plays within himself and that's what great players do."

Mayberry had the rare chance of playing with his old pal Jimmy, and Zac at Spanish Oaks a year ago. He made an interesting observation about the father and son.

Jimmy Blair, say his friends, is a rare breed. He's funny, can get under your skin and is all over the map with his personality.

"He hasn't changed since he was 14 or 35 or in his 50s," said Riverside head pro Robert McArthur. "What you see is what you get."

Mayberry saw three different relationships in 18 holes out of Jimmy the father and Zac the son the day he teed it up.

"There was the coach and a boy, and Jimmy is a fantastic teacher of the game. Then there was the best friends and golfing buddies out on the course. Then, third, I saw a father and a son, a dad talking to his son like normal fathers do. It was remarkable and interesting.

"One minute Jimmy was coaching, another minute they were joking around and teasing each other like friends do and another, Jimmy was telling me Zac was driving him crazy, saying, 'Was I ever like that?'"

And Mayberry would answer, "James, you were far worse than Zac. Back in the day, you could really get under everybody's skin. Ten times worse."

It's natural Zac is a winner, just like his dad.

It's one of Utah's more interesting father and son stories.

And it isn't over by a long shot.

email: dharmon@desnews.com

twitter: Harmonwrites

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