His presence is movie-of-the-week fare, probably best suited for the Hallmark or Disney channels. It's inspiration, perspiration and dedication rolled into one 5-foot-8, 160-pound package. Muthiya might be short on golf experience compared to many of his silver-spoon, coached and coddled American peers, but he's wise beyond his 24 years.
"I think he is more prepared than a lot of these guys, to be honest," said Glen Millican, Muthiya's college coach at New Mexico. "He's always had to figure everything out on his own.
"He showed up here with a golf bag and a duffel bag filled with his clothes, and that's it. But he was in our top 5 by the end of the year and he did it on his own."
No knock on Woods, who grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in suburban Southern California, but his tale doesn't hold a candle compared to Muthiya's personal perseverance. For perspective, consider some of the particulars about Zambia, a country of 11 million residents that, until 1964, was under British rule and known as Northern Rhodesia.
[Jack] Whitaker covered, and delivered essays about, all manner of sport. He wrote as he dressed, with tweedy charm. He said of his favorite game, “Golf is the most movable feast of all.” That is, it could be played everywhere, from Merion, where he was a member, to the public courses of Philadelphia where he learned the game in the 1940s. MICHAEL BAMBERGER