(Reuters) - European Tour prankster David Lynn is having a whale of a time sharing banter with the fans in the United States this year as he showed when finishing joint fourth at the Honda Classic in Florida last week.
The journeyman Briton, who has only one tournament victory to his name in 18 years as a professional, gained an exemption to the 2013 PGA Tour with a shock second-place finish behind Rory McIlroy at the U.S. PGA Championship in August.
Lynn picked up $865,000 by far his biggest payday, for his display at golf’s fourth major and then drove away with a cheque for $226,200 after ending up six strokes behind Honda winner American Michael Thompson at Palm Beach Gardens on Sunday.
“I‘m really enjoying the crowds out here. They’re a bit more interactive with the players, they like to have a chat and I like that side of things,” Lynn told Reuters in a telephone interview as he prepared for this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami.
“Last week there were four middle-aged women watching me on the practice green. We were all talking for about an hour and we had a great time,” added the 39-year-old Englishman.
”They watched me all week in the tournament and at the end of it they said it was the best golf-watching week they had ever had. They said they had got to know me a little bit and were talking about coming to watch me in Miami too.
“One of them was screaming over every shot I played.”
Lynn, who describes himself on his Twitter account as a prankster who will probably never grow up, has been having lots of fun with the American galleries this year.
“People generally like to call out to you when you are walking down the fairway,” said the world number 50.
”Some have been calling me ‘Lynn-sanity’. If you acknowledge people here, give them an autograph and stuff, they like to interact with you.
“It’s different to Europe where that sort of thing doesn’t seem to happen. I just like being myself with the crowds over here, have a bit of a laugh and a joke with them and give them a bit of attention.”
Lynn fulfilled an ambition last week when he played alongside Tiger Woods in Saturday’s Honda Classic third round and even managed to outscore the 14-times major winner, carding a 68 against the American’s level-par 70.
”It was a special moment to play with a legend,“ said Lynn. ”I was surprised how well I took to it, how calm I was and how much I thoroughly enjoyed the round.
”I had a bit of banter with him as well. He was asking me who my football team was. I asked him if he followed the English Premier League but he said, ‘No, not really’.
”I said, ‘I suppose you’re more into that rounders game you play over here’. I always take the mickey out of people out here by referring to baseball as rounders.
“He didn’t know what I was on about... I think he was nervous playing with me,” joked Lynn.
The Englishman has a penchant for planking - lying face down in an unusual location with both hands alongside the body - and has tweeted pictures of himself performing the activity on top of a television and also with his head in a washing machine.
“I like to do a bit of daft stuff now and again and stick it on Twitter,” said Lynn. “You’ve got a lot of spare time on your hands as a professional golfer.”
The 2004 Dutch Open champion then put his serious hat back on, saying he was keen to make the most of his unexpected golfing opportunities in the U.S.
“I know I‘m a rookie out here but I’ve proved I can play so it’s just a case of cracking on like I’ve done in Europe all these years and grinding out the results week-in, week-out,” said Lynn.
“I‘m playing at the U.S. Masters next month for the first time and that’s going to be another special week. I believe I belong in this company, absolutely.”
Editing by Ken Ferris