Does Tim (Lumpy) Herron (above left), the big-hitting
26-year-old rookie who came out of nowhere to win the Honda
Classic, live up to his nickname? The original, Frank Bank, who
played Clarence (Lumpy) Rutherford (above right) in Leave It to
Beaver from 1958 to '63 and again in the sequel from '85 to '89,
"I've met hundreds of guys called Lumpy, and very few of them
really deserve the name," says the 53-year-old Bank, an
occasional golfer. "But the way this kid Herron held on down the
stretch, showing a lot of guts after dunking it in the water on
the par-3 17th, he absolutely deserves to be a Lumpy."
International Management Group, which handles Herron, already is
trading on the name. Proclaiming that "the world loves Lumpy,"
IMG president Mark McCormack has jacked up Herron's fee for
daily outings to $10,000 from $2,500. A Late Night with David
Letterman spot has been discussed, and according to IMG's
Charley Moore, "Offers have literally poured in. People have
taken to this Lumpy thing."
That another Lumpy is a successful jock doesn't surprise the
genuine article. Bank, now a broker who as one of the country's
foremost authorities on municipal bonds hosts a weekly show on
CNN radio, says his character always--well, almost always--showed
plenty of athletic ability. In Leave It to Beaver, Lumpy was a
star shot-putter and an all-state lineman ("a block of granite,"
he says) on Mayfield High's state championship football team.
Lumpy didn't play golf, though, until the series was revived.
Then, Bank adds, "Lumpy was a complete hack."
--RICK LIPSEY and TIM ROSAFORTE