While Allen Doyle never made more than $35,000 per year until 1999, the former driving range pro led the 50-and-over tour in earnings for the season, raking in over $2.5 million.
He also won the season-long Charles Schwab Cup and donated the $1 million bonus towards charity.
The following compares the performances of the top five earners for 2001 and how they fared in several statistical categories. Notice that in Doyles case, wins didnt necessarily mean everything. More important to his money title were strong finishes every week, as well as strong play from tee to green.
1st) Allen Doyle - $2,553,582
2nd) Bruce Fleisher - $2,411,543
3rd) Hale Irwin - $2,147,422
4th) Larry Nelson - $2,109,936
5th) Gil Morgan - $1,885,871
1st) Nelson ' 5
2nd) Fleisher ' 3
2nd) Irwin ' 3
4th) Morgan ' 2
4th) Doyle ' 2
1st) Doyle ' 25
2nd) Fleisher ' 20
3rd) Irwin ' 18
4th) Nelson ' 17
5th) Morgan ' 14
3rd) Morgan - 31
5th) Doyle - 38
6th) Nelson - 50
19th) Fleisher - 65
24th) Irwin - 71
Greens in Regulation:
2nd) Fleisher ' 74.0 percent
4th) Irwin ' 73.1
4th) Morgan ' 73.1
7th) Doyle ' 72.9
14th) Nelson ' 70.7
1st) Irwin ' 1.728
2nd) Nelson ' 1.730
3rd) Fleisher ' 1.736
5th) Morgan ' 1.742
8th) Doyle ' 1.743
As the numbers show, the top five men virtually dominated every key statistic. Nelson may not have hit quite as many greens as the others, but at 14th, he wasn't far out of the race.
Neither was Irwin's rank of 24th in total driving.
Other than those exceptions, the biggest shock was that Nelson won far more tournaments than anyone else, yet was well back with respect to earnings.
The answer lies in the number of events each man played.
Doyle was an ironman over the course of the season, flailing his wild swing in 34 different events. The others played between 24 and 31 tournaments.
Hence, the last - and perhaps the most telling - stat:
Earnings per outing:
1st) Irwin - $82,593 (26 events)
2nd) Morgan - $78,577 (24 events)
3rd) Fleisher - $77,791 (31 events)
4th) Nelson - $75,354 (28 events)
5th) Doyle - $75,105 (34 events)
Looking at the numbers in that fashion, a slightly different picture is painted.
Nevertheless, as the Senior circuit continues to evolve, it should prove interesting how many more unknown players like Doyle ' or Fleisher ' emerge onto the scene, and talks have even centered on lowering the age limit from 50 to 45.
Like it or hate it, however, 2001 was full of exciting golf from both old pros and new ones alike. As with the womens game, the Senior Tour has never been more competitive.
Click Here for Complete Stats from the 2001 Senior PGA Tour
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