Iron Man Finally Has to Concede


I imagine we all know a guy like Dana Quigley. Lets see someone retired, someone who loves sports, someone who hangs out at the club and plays golf every day, all day.
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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