Morgan Tries to Keep Champions Record Perfect

By George WhiteSeptember 27, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 SAS ChampionshipCould this be the week that Gil Morgan wins? After five top-5 finishes in his last seven starts, will the SAS Championship be the magical place where it all comes together for the 24-time Champions Tour winner?
Morgan celebrated his 59th birthday Sunday, and now he would like to celebrate his first win of the 2005 season. There are just five more tournaments in the season including the SAS, and Morgan does not want to be shut out for the first time in his Champions Tour career.
I dont feel like Ive lost anything, Morgan said. Im sure my shot-making isnt as good as its been, my concentration level, all that. That just happens. So from that standpoint, Im not as good as when I first came out here.
Youre excited when you first come, for starters. Youre ready to play and do all the things that you can do to try to. I dont like Ive lost anything. Im sure my shot-making isnt as good as its been, my concentration level, all that. That just happens. So from that standpoint, Im not as good as when I first came out here.
There are numerous reasons, he believes.
You understand that youre not going to be here very long, so you have to take advantage of all the opportunities that you have. Hopefully you can capitalize on those as well. But the new guys, they just keep coming. Every year, theres two or three or four or five guys who can really play. But ' hey ' its good for our tour. It keeps it fresh.'

Morgans short game has been the problem this year. Hes 29th in putting, compared with ninth last year. And he stands 38th in the driving-accuracy category while he was third last year.
It has been a pleasurable ride down through the years for the native Oklahoman, though. He had a regular tour career that included seven victories, and then his Champions Tour experience where for a number of years he was in the top 3.
Over-all, I think its been better than I anticipated, he said. But at the same time, I have had a lot of disappointments. A lot of tournaments that have gotten away.
I probably could have done a little bit better early on. If Id played more, I might have been able to catch Hale those couple of years. But at the time, it wasnt very important to me. Its probably more important to me now than it was then.
But that is one of the reasons Ive tried to get in better shape this year is that it takes more work to get in shape. That little conditioning goes away with time.
Morgan realizes his best years are probably over. But then again, he feels there are some skills that are probably better than theyve ever been.
The ball-striking tee to green is not as precise, he said, but my other skills are enhanced ' my ability to pitch the ball, chip the ball, putt the ball. Ive been able to increase my knowledge.
I just wish I could have had this skill level all along. Then again, of course, I may be just dreaming. I may not really be better in those things, but it sure seems like it.
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