Quigley Donates Schwab Cup Earnings to Charity
After 28 tournaments, the Charles Schwab Cup came to an exciting conclusion on Oct. 30th. With triple points awarded at the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Sonoma (CA) Golf Club, Tom Watsons sizzling final-round 64 earned him the Championship trophy and enough Cup points to vault from fifth spot to 2005 Cup champion, 264 points ahead of runner-up Quigley, who finished T5 in the Championship.
Watson won his second Cup and the $1 million top prize, while Quigley collected $500,000.
True to their word, the Quigleys today announced their $500,000 would be split among the following charities in the annuitys first year:
United Methodist Church, West Palm Beach, FL
Butler Hospital, Providence, RI
University of Rhode Island Golf Team
World Harvest (charitable endeavor of Champions Tour chaplain, Tom Randle)
The Quigleys have indicated they will likely modify the list of recipients of the donations each year.
The University of Rhode Island graduate was inspired by friend and fellow New Englander, Allen Doyle, to donate his entire Charles Schwab Cup earnings to charity. In the first year of the program in 2001, Doyle won the Cup and earmarked his entire winnings for seven charities.
I still say Allen Doyles donation is the greatest act of generosity in professional sports Ive ever seen, Quigley said. Here is a guy who didnt have a lot when he came out on the Champions Tour and didnt know how long he would be making the big money. So him giving that million dollars away was an unbelievable gesture. He really inspired me to do the same.
Watson made a similar gesture when he won the Charles Schwab Cup in 2003, donating the $1 million, primarily to ALS-related organizations in support of his longtime caddie and friend, Bruce Edwards, who succumbed to the disease in April of 2004.
Its one of the greatest things in the world to be able to do this, Quigley added. Im not looking for what people think of me for doing it. Its a real cleansing and has really helped my soul. I think Angie feels the same way. Ive really found out a lot about myself and I think Ive earned the respect of the guys. Coming out as a club pro you dont know if youll ever get that.
Bruce Lietzke came up to me just before we teed off on Sunday (at Sonoma) and said Dana, I admire the year youve had and I admire the way youve handled it, but more importantly, I admire the way youve lived your life. I know he wasnt blowing smoke. It really choked me up to be honest with you.
All of the charities are connected to us in some way and the money will primarily impact kids, Quigley said. Angie is close to our church (United Methodist) and we got married there. Weve helped send some kids to camp the last few summers through the church. Butler Hospital is where I went for rehab and I do my charity tournament with them every summer. My daughter works there and the hospital does a lot to give kids a chance in life. I went to URI and Im hoping a young guy or girl will be able to get to college who otherwise might not be able to. If theyre connected to golf, all the better. And Tom Randle, the Tour chaplain, heads up World Harvest. Hes made a huge difference in my life. Im in a better place spiritually as a result of him. Every Friday night we meet with Toms (chaplain) group and its always on our mind to help these unfortunate kids.
The Dana Quigley story is an amazing one. A member of the PGA TOUR in 1978-1982, he never felt he belonged walking the fairways next to the likes of Palmer, Nicklaus and Trevino. After struggling to make it on TOUR, he returned to his native Massachusetts and the club professional ranks and also found himself with a serious drinking problem. Nearly a decade later and some very near misses behind the wheel of an automobile, he saw the light and began to turn his life around. He stopped drinking and married Angie, a devoted golfer in her own right. As the decade of the 90s wore on and Quigley approached age 50, he began focusing on the Champions Tour. Once he got out there it didnt take long for him to make his mark as the seven-time New England PGA Section Player of the Year won his first Champions Tour title only three months after his April 14th birthday in 1997. It was a bittersweet day, however, as his father, Wally, passed away just minutes after the tournament ended.
Quigley has gone on to enjoy incredible success on the Champions Tour. A go-for-broke player, he is fifth in Champions Tour career money with $12,333,491, having won ten tournaments and finished second 20 times. The 2005 season was his breakout year. Quigley won $2,170,258 to win the Arnold Palmer Award as the Tours leading money winner. With two wins, five runners-up (including two in major championships) and a co-leading 15 top-10 finishes, Quigley finds himself in the thick of one more race that will be decided in December by a vote of his peers, the 2005 Champions Tour Player of the Year/Jack Nicklaus Trophy.
Golf is a family game for the Quigleys. Not only does Angie join Dana on the golf course, his older brother, Paul, is a three-time Rhode Island State Amateur and nine-time Rhode Island State Stroke Play champion, who is retired from the insurance business and often caddies for Dana on the Champions Tour. Pauls son, Brett, has been a member of the PGA TOUR since 1997.
Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.
Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.
“I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”
Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.
“It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”
The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.
“All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”
Koepka still has chip on his chiseled shoulder
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brooks Koepka prepared more for this Open than last year's.
He picked up his clubs three times.
That’s three more than last summer, when the only shots he hit between the summer Opens was during a commercial shoot for Michelob Ultra at TPC Sawgrass. He still tied for sixth at The Open a month later.
This time, Koepka kept his commitment to play the Travelers, then hit balls three times between the final round in Hartford and this past Sunday, when he first arrived here at Carnoustie.
Not that he was concerned, of course.
Koepka’s been playing golf for nearly 20 years. He wasn’t about to forget to how to swing a club after a few weeks off.
“It was pretty much the same thing,” he said Tuesday, during his pre-tournament news conference. “I shared it with one of my best friends, my family, and it was pretty much the same routine. It was fun. We enjoyed it. But I’m excited to get back inside the ropes and start playing again. I think you need to enjoy it any time you win and really embrace it and think about what you’ve done.”
At Shinnecock Hills, Koepka became the first player in nearly 30 years to repeat as U.S. Open champion – a major title that helped him shed his undeserved reputation as just another 20-something talent who relies solely on his awesome power. In fact, he takes immense pride in his improved short game and putting inside 8 feet.
“I can take advantage of long golf courses,” he said, “but I enjoy plotting my way around probably - more than the bombers’ golf courses - where you’ve got to think, be cautious sometimes, and fire at the center of the greens. You’ve got to be very disciplined, and that’s the kind of golf I enjoy.”
Which is why Koepka once again fancies his chances here on the type of links that helped launch his career.
Koepka was out of options domestically after he failed to reach the final stage of Q-School in 2012. So he packed his bags and headed overseas, going on a tear on the European Challenge Tour (Europe’s equivalent of the Web.com circuit) and earning four titles, including one here in Scotland. That experience was the most fun and beneficial part of his career, when he learned to win, be self-sufficient and play in different conditions.
“There’s certain steps, and I embraced it,” Koepka said. “I think that’s where a lot of guys go wrong. You are where you are, and you have to make the best of it instead of just putting your head down and being like, 'Well, I should be on the PGA Tour.' Well, guess what? You’re not. So you’ve got to suck it up wherever you are, make the best of it, and keep plugging away and trying to win everything you can because, eventually, if you’re good enough, you will get out here.”
Koepka has proved that he’s plenty good enough, of course: He’s a combined 20 under in the majors since the beginning of 2017, the best of any player during that span. But he still searches long and hard for a chip to put on his chiseled shoulder.
In his presser after winning at Shinnecock, Koepka said that he sometimes feels disrespected and forgotten, at least compared to his more-ballyhooed peers. It didn’t necessarily bother him – he prefers to stay out of the spotlight anyway, eschewing a media tour after each of his Open titles – but it clearly tweaked him enough for him to admit it publicly.
That feeling didn’t subside after he went back to back at the Open, either. On U.S. Open Sunday, ESPN’s Instagram page didn’t showcase a victorious Koepka, but rather a video of New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. dunking a basketball.
“He’s like 6-foot-2. He’s got hops – we all know that – and he’s got hands. So what’s impressive about that?” Koepka said. “But I always try to find something where I feel like I’m the underdog and put that little chip on my shoulder. Even if you’re No. 1, you’ve got to find a way to keep going and keep that little chip on.
“I think I’ve done a good job of that. I need to continue doing that, because once you’re satisfied, you’re only going to go downhill. You try to find something to get better and better, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Now 28, Koepka has a goal of how many majors he’d like to win before his career is over, but he wasn’t about to share it.
Still, he was adamant about one thing: “Right now I’m focused on winning. That’s the only thing I’ve got in my mind. Second place just isn’t good enough. I finished second a lot, and I’m just tired of it. Once you win, it kind of propels you. You have this mindset where you just want to keep winning. It breeds confidence, but you want to have that feeling of gratification: I finally did this. How cool is this?”
So cool that Koepka can’t wait to win another one.
Despite results, Thomas loves links golf
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Despite poor results in two previous Open Championships, Justin Thomas contends that he has what it takes to be a good links player. In fact, he believes that he is a good links player.
Two years ago at Royal Troon, Thomas shot 77 in the second round to tie for 53rd place. He was on the wrong side of the draw that week that essentially eliminated anyone from contention who played late Friday afternoon.
Last year at Royal Birkdale, Thomas made a quintuple-bogey 9 on the par-4 sixth hole in the second round and missed the cut by two shots.
“I feel like I’ve played more than two Opens, but I haven’t had any success here,” Thomas said Tuesday at Carnoustie. “I feel like I am a good links player, although I don’t really have the results to show.”
Although he didn’t mention it as a reason for success this week, Thomas is a much different player now than he was two years ago, having ascended to the No. 1 position in the world for a few weeks and now resting comfortably in the second spot.
He also believes a high golf IQ, and the ability to shape different shots into and with the wind are something that will help him in The Open over the next 20 years.
“I truly enjoy the creativity,” Thomas said. “It presents a lot of different strategies, how you want to play it, if you want to be aggressive, if you want to be conservative, if you want to attack some holes, wait on certain winds, whatever it might be. It definitely causes you to think.
“With it being as firm as it is, it definitely adds a whole other variable to it.”
Reed's major record now a highlight, not hindrance
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The narrative surrounding Patrick Reed used to be that he could play well in the Ryder Cup but not the majors.
So much for that.
Reed didn’t record a top-10 in his first 15 starts in a major, but he took the next step in his career by tying for second at the 2017 PGA Championship. He followed that up with a breakthrough victory at the Masters, then finished fourth at the U.S. Open after a closing 68.
He’s the only player with three consecutive top-4s in the majors.
What’s the difference now?
“The biggest thing is I treat them like they’re normal events,” he said Tuesday at Carnoustie. “I’ve always gone into majors and put too much pressure on myself, having to go play well, having to do this or that. Now I go in there and try to play golf and keep in the mindset of, Hey, it’s just another day on the golf course. Let’s just go play.
“I’ve been able to stay in that mindset the past three, and I’ve played pretty well in all three of them.”
Reed’s record in the year’s third major has been hit or miss – a pair of top-20s and two missed cuts – but he says he’s a better links player now than when he began his career. It took the native Texan a while to embrace the creativity required here and also to comprehend the absurd distances he can hit the ball with the proper wind, conditions and bounce.
“I’m sort of accepting it,” he said. “I’ve gotten a little more comfortable with doing it. It’s come a little bit easier, especially down the stretch in tournament play.”