Is winning everything? Not for Baird


SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Briny Baird has four runner-up finishes and has earned nearly $12 million in a dozen seasons and 347 starts as a PGA Tour institution. In position to end the second-longest PGA Tour winless drought (Brett Quigley is 0 for 401 starts), Baird said he would not exchange his career for a mere trophy.

'I wouldn't trade it at all,” he said after shooting 7-under 64 to take a two-shot lead at the Open. “The way I look at winning a golf tournament ... that would be fantastic. But, I would be happy for a very small amount of time. That I can promise you.'

Baird takes pride not only in hanging on to PGA Tour playing privileges for as long as he has, but also in the consistent feeling of satisfaction in his results – even if none have been wins.

'I've walked away from a lot of golf tournaments feeling like it was a good week,” he said. “You travel on Monday and people kind of go, 'Hey, good playing last week.' I wouldn't trade that because I've been happy probably more times than the guy who won one time and was happy just that one time.'

Baird said the only reason he knew how many starts he had made without winning was that someone told him.

'Somebody brought it up to me,” he said. “I'm not completely psycho.”

If Baird wins on Sunday, the difference may be his ability to forget both the disappointments of years past and the bad shots that are almost inevitable in a round of golf.

'Maybe I'm doing a little better not beating myself up so much,' he said.