Three days after the final round of the U.S. Open, my brother,
Whit, and sister, Darden, called within an hour of each other to
congratulate me. "Way to go, Lee," Darden said.
"What are you talking about?" I replied. "You know that I only
"Yeah," said Whit, chuckling, "but you finally made the big time.
There's a huge picture of you in Golf Plus. Too bad the article
was about Padraig Harrington and some other European players."
Just my luck. After losing my PGA Tour card last year and
struggling on the Buy.com tour this season, I finally get some
ink--and it's a mistake. The photo on the left is of me, and it
ran in the June 26 issue accompanying a story about how well the
Europeans had played at Pebble Beach. The picture on the right is
a shot of Harrington from the Open.
July 9, 2000
SI's boo-boo isn't all that surprising because Padraig and I have
similar builds and we both have dusty blond hair. In fact, one
evening during the Open, Darden, Whit and I were in our hotel
room watching highlights on TV when Darden yelled, "Who's this
guy? He looks just like Lee." That guy was Harrington.
I've been amazed by all the fuss that's been made about the
mix-up. A few days after the Open I was at the Buy.com Greensboro
(N.C.) Open when I got a call from the locker room at the FedEx
St. Jude Classic in Memphis. I heard a lot of laughing in the
background, and Paul Azinger said, "Is that Padraig Porter on the
Then Eric (Pitchfork) Hilcoff, the PGA Tour's travel agent, got
on the line and said, "Hey, Padraig, you look just like Lee
After the second round at Greensboro, rules official Rich Pierson
came up to me as I was coming off the 18th green. He was waving a
pen and paper and asked, "Paddy, Paddy, you'll sign this for me,
I don't mind the extra attention, and to tell the truth, that was
the largest picture of me ever published (except on my personal
Web site, www.leeporter.com). But the fact is, that photo in
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED wasn't supposed to be of me. Maybe someday
soon it'll be my picture people will want to see.
Lee Porter, 34, finished 51st at last week's Buy.com Carolina
Classic in Raleigh, N.C.