A Season for the Ages


Looking back, Dan Forsmans victory in the 84 Lumber Classic of Pennsylvania was a bit premature.
Forsman ended a decade-long winless streak on the PGA Tour by sinking a 20-foot eagle putt on the 72nd hole at the Waynesborough Country Club in Paoli, Pa., for a one-stroke triumph over Robert Allenby and Billy Andrade.
The win was Forsmans fifth on tour, and his first since the 1992 Buick Open.
But it was an anomaly in 2002, when a record 18 players captured their maiden tour title; it would have fit in the fabric of 2003 much more comfortably.
Forsman was 44 at the time of his victory. He was one of only six players in his 40s to win on tour a season ago.
Already, eight different players 40 and over have taken top honors thus far this season. That includes now 43-year-old Kenny Perry, who has won three times; Vijay Singh, who has won once at 39 (Phoenix) and once at 40 (Byron Nelson) this year; 49-year-old Peter Jacobsen (Hartford); and 50-year-old Craig Stadler (B.C. Open).
Like Forsman a year ago, these 40-somethings ' and senior Stadler ' have made long awaited returns to the winners circle.
Fred Couples won the Shell Houston Open for his first win since 98. Perry hadnt won since 95, likewise for Jacobsen and Bob Tway, who won the Bell Canadian. Stadlers drought had extended to 96, while Kirk Triplett, who won in Reno, had been winless for three years.
There are several players in this weeks field that would love to continue this seasonal trend.
Mark OMeara, 46, hasnt won since the 1998 British Open; Mark Brooks, 42, since the 1996 PGA Championship.
Forty-four-year-old Jay Don Blakes last win came in the 1991 Shearson Lehman Brothers Open. Neal Lancaster, 41, hasnt held a trophy since the 94 Byron Nelson. David Frost, 44, hasnt had that thrill since the 97 Colonial.
Scott Simpson will turn 48 Wednesday. His last title was the 98 Buick Invitational. Steve Pate, 42, also hasnt won in the last five years (1998 CVS Charity).
And dont overlook Mark Calcavecchia (43), J.L. Lewis (43), Steve Lowery (42), Hal Sutton (45), and Duffy Waldorf (41), all of whom have gone at least two seasons without a victory.
Helping their individual causes is the fact that only two (Chris DiMarco and Robert Allenby) of the top 20 players from the Official World Golf Ranking are in attendance.
For the third time in the events short four-year history, players will have to get accustomed to a new venue.
Waynesborough was the host in 2000 ' when DiMarco won ' and last year. Allenby won the 2001 edition at Laurel Valley Country Club in Ligonier, Pa.
This years host site is the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa in Farmington. The Mystic Rock Golf Course will play to a par 72 at 7,329 yards.
There are only seven full-field events remaining on the 2003 PGA Tour calendar. This week's purse is $4 million, with $720,000 going to the winner ' whatever his age may be.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 84 Lumber Classic
  • More PGA Tour Preview Information