On Wednesday at Orange County National near Orlando, Fla., Mize tries to culminate a long journey back when he begins the final stage of the qualifying tournament for the PGA Tour. He will be in the field of 164 golfers who are trying to earn tour cards for 2006. The top 30 and ties will be successful. The next 51 will be awarded Nationwide Tour cards.
Mize has been the victim of poor health in the 2000s, however. He was thrown from a horse in 2001 and suffered a cracked scapula in his shoulder, a broken rib and a concussion. He was awarded a medical exemption in 2001 when he experienced lower back pain.
Mize has won four times on tour, the latest being 1993 when he won twice. He has played a reduced schedule for several years now due not only to injuries, but also to spend time with wife Bonnie and three sons.
Among other veterans in the field are Notah Begay III, Briney Baird, Jay Don Blake, Tom Byrum, Dan Forsman, Bill Glasson, Skip Kendall, Greg Kraft, Neal Lancaster, Blaine McCallister, Jim McGovern, David Peoples.
A number of Europeans have made the trek, including Alex Cjeka, Per-Ulrik Johannson, Phillip Price and Tjaart van der Walt.
Among the youth who will be in the field are the sons of a couple of Champions Tour standouts ' Bill Haas and Kevin Stadler. Also included is Bob May, who lost a playoff to Tiger Woods at the 2000 PGA Championship.
Among those who wont be in attendance are Steve Pate, Duffy Waldorf, Jay Delsing ' teammates at UCLA in early 80s along with Corey Pavin. Pate, Waldorf and Delsing failed to survive the second stage of qualifying.
The tournament lasts six rounds.