Tigers, great white sharks, and hawks; in terms of nicknames, golf thought it had the top of the food chain covered.
That was until the king of the monsters – “Quadzilla” – roared onto the scene in March.
Victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational sealed a first PGA Tour title for Kurt Kitayama, securing him $3.6 million in prize money – almost doubling his eight-year earnings on Tour in a single paycheck.
Fortunately for the American, he has big pockets. At least that is according to fellow pro Xander Schauffele, who dubbed his compatriot “Quadzilla” in honor of his imposing thigh muscles when the duo played together on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2016.
These days they are smaller, Kitayama insists, but that has not stopped him from embracing the name that has gone viral since his maiden triumph.
“You could tell the pants were fitting tight, he called me out on it,” Kitayama told CNN’s Don Riddell.
“When Xander and I were playing on the Korn Ferry Tour they got pretty big … I got a little overweight I’d say.
“Also when I was working out, the one thing I loved doing was squatting. So I used to do it a lot and that was the only thing I lifted pretty much.”