I agree with you golfdoc. There is no end to the tales of unfulfilled potential in life and clearly, Mr. Pearce squandered his golfing talents if indeed his true life calling was to play this game professionally. You correctly point out that the path to professional success in golf and other sports requires disciplined attention to the business at hand. Clearly, Eddie did not have that drive and discipline. Perhaps a stronger fathering relationship with disciplined guidance, strong values, and an appreciation for work earlier on in his life would have made a difference. But he didn't have that experience and so easily indulged in behavior that was self destructive. Alcoholism is a nasty disease. I think it a sign of the times that Eddie and others behavior, drinking all night and then playing competitive golf, was viewed by peers and friends as acceptable. "There goes Eddie!..What are you going to do?" This would have been a better story if his professional peers had exercised the courage to intervene instead of watching his self inflicted debauchery.
What made Eddie stop drinking? I don't think any of us will know the answer but he did stop hitting a bottom somewhere and deciding there had to be a happier way to live. And as his son stated in the comments following the article, he is a good, loving, caring, supportive Dad.
I am glad for him he has found some peace in his life and lives happily and fully with family and love! That, in the end, is all anyone can hope for in this life..