Doyle, a five-time winner on the 50-and-over circuit, won the event last year having only played 36 holes. Torrential rains ensued Saturday night and continued on into Sunday, soaking the Newport Beach Country Club, and forcing tournament officials to call the event. At the time, Doyle had assumed a one-shot lead over Howard Twitty and Jim Thorpe at 6-under-par 136. So, he was deemed the winner.
Although Doyle didn't win throughout the remainder of the season, he played well, notching an additional 16 other top-10 finishes to his 2000 resume.
This year, he seems to be picking up right where he left off, making top-10 finishes in every event in which he has competed - a total of four. He has not finished outside seventh in any one event.
So, as he is due for a win and his game is in fine shape, what a better time to do it than at a previous winning site?
Others will be on hand as well, though. Most notable, Larry Nelson and Bruce Fleisher. Flash still hasn't yet found his winning ways yet in 2001. Yet, his presence will be felt, along with others also in search of their inaugural wins for the year in Hale Irwin and Tom Watson.
Speaking of inaugural wins, Mike McCullough will be teeing it up on Friday. McCullough was crowned champion for the first time ever in last week's Mexico Senior Classic. Prior to the big moment, the man from Scottsdale, Ariz., had gone six years and 177 events on the Senior circuit without a victory.