Dana Quigley, 57 and still winning golf tournaments, locked up victory No. 9 when he outdueled another big name at the MasterCard Championship. He has played in every Champions Tour event the past seven years, and hes started the eighth on a highly successful note. Tom Watson will attest to that.
Quigley nipped Watson on the third playoff hole at the MasterCard last week in Hawaii. Watson had begun the day with a three-shot lead on the field, but the capricious winds blew his tee shot over the green at the par-3 17th and onto the rocks below. Quigley had already popped his shot onto the fringe and got down in two for the par and the victory.
'I'm actually not surprised (with Watson's club selection) because the wind turned around,' Quigley said. 'We had 169 to the hole and 180 over the green. I hit 8-iron, which I hit 150. But I just figured I was zipped up and it went to the back fringe. And I think Tom had a 7-iron and he flushed it. And when it got in the air I said, 'That thing is in the rocks'.
Watson was philosophical about his chance that went awry. 'I don't make any excuses, he said. I just didn't play very well. I was more nervous today than I probably should have been. I've dealt with those nerves before. I can't take anything away from Dana. He shot 66 and it blew today.
Quigley has played more golf than anybody on the Champions Tour since he came aboard in 1997.
Sunday, Quigley bogeyed the 18th hole to set up the playoff. However, he said such are the vagaries of the game.
'No bogey affects me,' Quigley said of his chance to sew it up in regulation. 'This is what I've been trying to teach my nephew Brett and my own son. I told them in Florida last month that bogeys only hurt you if you let them.
'That's life. I didn't try to do it. I actually tried to make that putt. I had a really good putt, but it just didn't turn into the hole. The first playoff hole I hit the same putt, so I'm not too bright. I still played it to break left and it didn't. I would not have beaten myself up if Watson makes birdie. That's what the Lord wanted to happen.'
Bogeys are a by-product of trying to win, Quigley said. There are times when you can make a birdie or a bogey, and Quigley says he will take the chance every time. He told his caddy the same thing Sunday after he had had made a bogey while trying to make a birdie.
I said, You only get a chance to win a few times a year out here on tour. If you don't go at it when you've got a chance what difference does it make?
'What if I made a bogey? It's not a big deal. You've got to go to win if you can win. You've got to lay down at night and look in the mirror the next day and you say why didn't I go for that? You gotta go for that.'