Iron Man Finally Has to Concede
The only difference between that guy and D. Quigley is Quigley gets paid for it. And if he isnt getting paid, it doesnt matter. He plays golf anyway.
But Quigley is not getting paid today. And he probably isnt playing golf. The Champions Tour is in Scotland where the old boys are playing the Senior British Open. The Quig is home in Florida, pacing around the living room, hardly believing that his senior buddies are going to play without him.
Old age, you see, has finally caught up with him. He has a balky hip now, something that started last month, and that plus a series of misadventures meant that he didnt make the trip overseas. It ended a streak of 278 events for which he was eligible, and 264 Champions Tour tournaments over-all. He wasnt eligible for the Champions Tour Charles Schwab Championship event the first year the streak started.
Despite the bad hip which would have been made even worse by an overseas flight, Quigley had decided to make the flight and postpone the final decision on playing until he got to Scotland. But his flight from Providence, R.I., to Aberdeen was postponed Sunday night, and Quigley could not be sure of getting another flight Monday.
He mulled over the situation, finally decided to take it as a sign that he really shouldnt go anyway, and headed home.
His 58-year-old body just cant take this kind of pounding, Dana finally was forced to admit. Actually, there were several times the last 2-3 years that he probably should have rested. Little creaks and groans began emanating from the body. And it all just compounded to the tournament this week, which he was finally forced to sit out.
Actually, it should have ended last year. He lent his driver to a corporate acquaintance at the Tampa tournament, the acquaintance broke it, and Quigley overdid it while trying to adjust to the new one. I mean, it was stupid, I know better than that, he conceded, but I was having so much fun hitting them, I just kept whacking them.
He hurt his elbow. The next week was an off-week, and Quigley went home to the Miami area ' and proceeded to play as always as per his off-week custom. That means at least 36-54 holes per day. The elbow puffed up, but when the tour went to Mexico the next week, there was ol Quigley. By favoring my right elbow I tore all the muscles in my back, he said. I dont know if torn is the right word, but I definitely hurt it.
But there was the streak to consider. He should have headed for home without hitting another shot. But that is not Quigley. So he stayed, gritted his teeth, and played. Call it pride, call it something else, but the streak survived intact.
I never really felt it was as important as my family does ' they are all into it, my friends are all into it, he said.
My wife put it this way ' she said, You know, theyre talking about you all over the world. They arent able to talk about my golf, so I got to have something.
He used to feel nearly immortal. Now he feels decidedly mortal. All these nagging injuries have forced him to slow down and realize that a 58-year-old man just doesnt have the body of a 28-year-old man.
Its just really getting old, he said with a sigh. As I get older Im finding out that I do have some limits. Im gonna have to calm down a bit.
Quigley began the streak eight years ago, in 1997. And amazingly, this year was shaping up as his best ever. He is first on the money list with $1,380,840 and has already won two tournaments this year ' to go with eight others during the streak.
Now, he has new respect for his own mortality and for his age. But still, next week when the Champions Tour returns to the States for the U.S. Senior Open, he will be right back on the tee.
I never thought age was ' I thought I was as young as ' yeah, I play golf every day, thats what I do, he said. It never has been a hindrance. This just shows me that I got to slow it down a little.
I am not invincible ' every morning when I get up, I feel like Im Superman. But when I go to bed at night, I feel l feel like Im Lois Lane.
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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59
Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.
While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.
He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.
"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."
Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.
"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."
Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot
When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.
Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.
"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"
The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.
Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.
"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."
DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.
Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.
"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."
Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.
Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.
"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."
Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.
"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."
LPGA lists April date for new LA event
The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.
When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.
The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.
The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.