For Dana Quigley, the figure has now reached 247 ' thats the number of consecutive Champions Tour events that he has begun. This week the number reaches 248 at the Bank of America Championship (TGC, Fri. - Sun. 5 & 9 p.m. ET). Quigley will be teeing it up close to his old home area, Boston, in the tournament in Concord, Mass.
Quigley is 57 years old and this is the seventh season that he is playing every event. But there are beginning to be creaks and groans emanating from the body, little ailments that werent there two or three years ago. And there was a time earlier this season when it probably should have been all over.
It began when he lent out his driver to a corporate acquaintance at the Outback Steakhouse tournament in Tampa, the fourth event of the year. And sure enough, the acquaintance broke the driver on Thursday.
It was 10 after 5 (p.m. Thursday) ' the first round was Friday ' and they quickly made me another one, Quigley recounted. To get accustomed to the new club, he spent more time on the driving range than he normally does ' much more time.
I must have hit 500 balls with drivers and 3-woods, Quigley said. I mean, it was stupid, I know better than that, but I was having so much fun hitting them I just kept whacking them.
I felt some pain in my elbow, but I just figured the next day it would be all right.
Not so. The elbow has never fully healed. And then, to make a bad situation even worse, Quigley went home to the Miami area during the tours off-week after Tampa ' and played even more golf!
I did my usual 36 or 54 (holes) every day ' which I usually do, said this golf-lover par excellence. It makes no sense, but I did it. I woke up Saturday morning and I couldnt bend my arm. It was all swollen and puffed out.
I took five days off ' which is unheard of in my life. I went down to Mexico (for a Champions Tour event) and tried to play, and I think by favoring my right elbow I tore all the muscles in my back. I dont know if torn is the right word, but I definitely hurt it.
Were it not for The Streak, Quigley would have headed for home and took a couple of weeks to rest his back. But that is not Dana Quigley. When youve played every tournament for six years, you take a lot of pride in it.
Yeah, I do, he agreed. I never really felt it was as important as my family does ' they are all into it, my friends are all into it.
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.
So I keep it going for a lot of reasons. Im proud of it ' proud of the streak.
Quigley, though, has since discovered the ancient art of acupuncture. Now he goes regularly for treatments, and he says it has given him tremendous relief.
They have a procedure called cupping in which they put these cups on ' its like a vacuum that they light a fire under and it sucks all the blood up to the surface of the skin, he said. Actually, it looks like 15 to 20 hickeys on my back. They leave it on for an hour and it just sucks all the blood to the top. You know, blood is the great healer in the body.
I believe in it, yeah. My wife believes in it more than I do ' shes kind of the one who talked me into it. I tried almost everything
He used to feel nearly immortal. Now he feels decidedly mortal. The back injury has forced him to slow down and take a deep breath and realize that a 57-year-old man just doesnt have the body of a 27-year-old. Too much golf and the body breaks down.
Its just really getting old, he said with a sigh. I was really, really stupid to do it. Ive never really broken down, so I dont feel like I have any limits in that area. As I get older Im finding out that I do have some limits. Im gonna have to calm down a bit.
And hes learned that, yes, age is definitely a hindrance.
Until this last injury, said Quigley, I never thought age was ' I thought I was as young as ' yeah, I play golf every day, thats what I do. 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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